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A Life Well Lived

Posted in Rev. G's Biker News

Our brother Deguello Jerry has passed away. He was a good man who will be sorely missed. He enriched the life of every person he encountered. Thank you, Jerry.

It is times such as these which cause us to stop and consider who WE are and what this life is really all about. Our prayers go out to Jerry’s family, his Dequello brothers and to YOU. May each of us discover our true purpose. May we live fully, experience the joy of the Lord and, like Jerry, be a blessing to those around us.

I found this poem which seems to be written in Jerry’s voice; the words something he wants to say to us today:

Death is nothing at all, I have only slipped away into the next room.

I am I, and you are you; whatever we were to each other, that, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way which you always used, put no difference in your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we shared together. Let my name ever be the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is unbroken continuity.  Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.

All is well.

May God bless and keep you. May He make His light shine upon you. May He turn his countenance toward you and give you peace.

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The kingdom is Here

Posted in Daily Devotions

As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” (Matthew 10.)

It is not enough for us to sing, “What the world needs now, is love sweet love.” If we stopped here, we could say to our friends and neighbors, “Let’s just love each other a little more.” That answer, however, is not sufficient.

As human beings we will not love one another until, first of all, we understand that we are loved. Unless we feel ourselves loved, we cannot love. That’s a principle not only of theology, psychology, or sociology, but of our Bible as well. Just as abused children grow to abuse their children, loved children grow up to love their children. Loved persons are able to love the world.

Love comes from the heart of God. And there is only one place that we can see God’s love completely revealed, and that is on the cross of Jesus Christ. On the cross, the heart of God is displayed for all the world to see. God loved us enough to send his son to die on the cross for you and me.

The kingdom is here. It has to do with love, but it has even more to do with Christ. Jesus gave his life, so that we would have life in the mist of God’s unconditional love.

Dear Lord, help me to realize and share your kingdom through gestures of love. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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Sweet Fragrance

Posted in Daily Devotions

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. (Matthew 9.35)

With our finite minds there is not a whole lot we can say about the kingdom. Jesus doesn’t describe it in detail, but one thing we can say with an air of certainty, it has something to do with love.

The scribe asked Jesus, “What is the great commandment?”

Jesus answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and your neighbor as yourself.”

Wherever God is, there is love. Wherever love is, there is God. The kingdom has something to do with love. Paul says, “There remains these three: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” In other words, if we are a citizen of the kingdom of God, it will show by the way we love one another.

We cannot hold on to our resentment, our anger, our prejudice, and our bitterness, and claim citizenship in God’s kingdom. The Kingdom is centered on love for people. We would all be so much healthier and happier if we lived by that principle.

A young girl was told by her mother to take flowers to a shut-in who lived down the street. She did so and it was a marvelous visit. When she came back her mother said, “Smell your hands.” She did and she was surprised to discover that the fragrance of the flowers still lingered on her hands. Her wise mother said to her, “Kindness always leaves a sweet fragrance.”

The kingdom of God is like that too.

Heavenly Father, help me to share your kingdom through love. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Posted in Daily Devotions

Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.” (Mark 14.23-24)

In his book THIRTEEN DAYS TO GLORY author Lon Tinkle tells about Colonel Jim Bowie and the brave defenders of the Alamo. That sacred Texas shrine had only 183 defenders against a huge army led by Santa Anna. On March 4, 1836, two hours before dusk, the Mexican guns quit firing. William Travis lined his men up in a single line inside the Alamo. He told them no reinforcements were coming and that their destiny was sealed. “Our doom is certain,” Travis told the weary men. Travis then pulled his sword from its sheath and drew a line in the dirt floor in front of them and asked every man who was determined to stay in the Alamo and die to cross the line.

Topley Holland was the first man across the line. Others quickly followed–Daniel Cloud, Micajah Utry, Davy Crockett. Colonel Jim Bowie was sick and unable to cross the line so he called for help and four men sprang to the side of his cot and lifted him over the line as the other men cheered. On March 6, the Alamo fell and the brave defenders within her walls died. They made the choice that counted most and the Republic of Texas was born out of their shed blood.

That night in the Upper Room was also about shed blood – Christ’s blood shed for us – and our willingness to shed our blood to follow him.

There are too many Christians who glibly say, “Oh, yes, we follow Jesus.” But they know nothing of sacrifice – nothing of service. If you choose Jesus, you will need to make a very special kind of commitment.

Dear God, guide me so that I may not take lightly my commitment to Jesus. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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Posted in Daily Devotions

Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. (John 13.5)

According to the Bible there is only one perfect role model. Thirteen men are gathered for a meal. According to the Gospel of John, one of them, the leader of the group, girds himself with a towel and begins to wash the other men’s feet. They are horrified. This is not the way a role model is supposed to act. Not in the secular world. In the secular world a leader is one who is served, not one who serves. Maybe that’s what’s wrong with the world today. Our leaders don’t know how to serve. Maybe that’s why service is so bad in department stores. The manager of the store doesn’t know how to set an example. If you’re going to choose Jesus as a role model, you’re going to have to learn what it is to serve.

When the late Roy L. Smith, pastor and for many years editor of a denominational magazine, was not yet eighteen, he received a hurried message at school that his father had been hurt at the mill where he worked. While Roy was running down Main Street in Nickerson, Kansas, a blunt man called out, “No use runnin’, kid. He’s gone.”

Smith’s father was a skilled mechanic and flour miller, and was highly respected in their little village, so every business in town closed down for his funeral. The day after the funeral, Roy and his brother went to the mill to gather up their father’s belongings–his tools and the clothes in which he had died. The first thing Roy saw were his father’s shoes, the soles turned up. There was a great hole in each one, stretching from one side of the shoe to the other. On the day Roy’s father died, his father’s bare feet were against the concrete floor of the mill. Less than two weeks before, his father had bought Roy a new pair of shoes. Roy would have given anything, he said later, if he could only have put good shoes on his father’s feet for the last hour of his life.

If you choose Jesus as a role model, you’re going to wrap a towel around your waist and wash the feet of others.

Dear God, help me to better know and live out Jesus’ kind of sacrifice. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Temple of God

Posted in Daily Devotions

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3.16)

Paul’s words can be interpreted in two ways. First of all, they can be interpreted to refer to the individual believer – your body, your mind, your heart – is the temple of God. Our call is to take good care of God’s temple.

Peter Hanson wrote of what a moving experience it was even for him, a Canadian, to visit the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. He described watching crowds of people of all ages reach up to touch the cold wall of granite rising out of the ground, containing the names of every American soldier known to have died in that conflict–approximately 50,000 of them. Some people who came just stood and stared; others broke down and wept. “Why?” they all seemed to be as king. Young boys taken from loving families to fight a war that basically had no meaning. Fifty thousand American soldiers died, and for no good reason. Fifty thousand brave young men slain in that terrible conflict. Then Hanson adds, “Fifty thousand–that is also the number of Americans who are killed every year by drunk drivers. That will make you think. “Do you not know that you are God’s temple…?”

There is another way of interpreting this text that is more in keeping with the context. Paul is writing to the Corinthian church – a church in conflict. Some are claiming to be followers of Paul, others are claiming to be followers of Apollos, a skilled preacher much admired in the early church. In other words, some are still linked to one former pastor, some are still linked to another. Paul counsels them to grow up. “Who is Paul?” he asks. “Who is Apollos?” Paul plants, Apollos waters, but it is God who gives the growth.

Then Paul compares the church to a building. He himself laid the foundation at Corinth, now another is building on that foundation. The foundation, of course, is Christ, and that is all that matters. Then Paul adds, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s spirit dwells in you? If any one destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him.” In this context, we can see that God’s temple is the church. WE ARE THE TEMPLE OF THE LIVING GOD. What does that say to you?

Loving God, help me do a better job of being your living word and temple. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Active Love

Posted in Daily Devotions

But now I ask you, not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning, let us love one another. (2 John 1.5)

The essence of Christian faith is love. Just as Christ laid down his life for us, so ought we to lay down our lives for others. That means loving all people – even those who misuse us, and that means doing good to all people – even those whom we may not approve of, and that means leaving our comfort zone from time to time for acts of extraordinary concern. The essence of Christian faith is love.

Love is our primary witness to the world. If the day comes when the Christian church is as loving as its Master, the world will beat a path to our door. John asks, “How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses to help?” Love is more than just an emotion or a feeling. Love is feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned. Love is not a passive verb, but an active one. And it is the primary way we share Christ with the world.

Dear God, help me to have an active love that truly touches the lives of those who really need it. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Fill Your Life

Posted in Daily Devotions

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. (John 14.26)

Dwight L. Moody once to his audience, “Tell me, how can I get the air out of the glass tumbler I have in my hand?” One man said, “Suck it out with a pump.” The evangelist replied, “That would create a vacuum and shatter it.” Finally, after many futile suggestions, Moody picked up a pitcher and filled the glass with water. “There,” he said, “all the air is now removed.” He then explained that victory for the child of God does not come by working hard to eliminate destructive thoughts and habits, but rather by allowing the Holy Spirit to take full possession.

Look ahead to what God has in store for you. Fill your life with God’s hope!

Dear God, thank you for the hope you give to me each day through the power of your Holy Spirit. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Why Are You Troubled?

Posted in Daily Devotions

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. (John 14.27)

This is the story about a worrier named Estelle. She is a mother from Path, Rhode Island; and as a parent she elevated worrying to an art form. Her child was a cancer patient, so some of her concerns were legitimate, but still, Estelle admits, she carried worrying a bit too far. She says that as a parent it was her duty to worry. And as the parent of an oncology patient, she perfected it. She kept lists of her worries in case she forgot one. Every time something happened in her life she would revise the list, developing intricate new worries. Within a six‑year period, she says, she had a list of 142 things to worry about. Six actually happened, including two that were not even o n her list. She eventually decided she wasn’t as efficient as she thought she was, but, she adds, “I keep practicing.”

Do you know anybody like that? Maybe yourself? Someone once said that, “Worry is an old man – With a bended head – Carrying a load of feathers – Which he thinks are lead.”

Studies show that a lot of people are troubled, unhappy, and worried; and some with good reason. Jesus asked his disciples, “Why are you troubled?” That’s a good question for many of us!

Dear God, help me find the off switch of worry. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Posted in Daily Devotions

And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. (1 Thes 5.14)

One day as Peter and John were approaching the Temple, they saw a man who was unable to walk. It wasn’t unusual to see such people near the Temple, but perhaps seeing this man lying there reminded Peter and John of Jesus and how he always showed love and compassion for seemingly forgotten people. They instructed the man to look at them. Peter said to him, “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Stand up and walk.” Then the two of them grabbed the man’s hands and helped him to his feet.

Suddenly a man who had never walked in his life was jumping for joy. He was healed. His ankles were strong. He was no longer lame. His friends would no longer have to carry him. He was overjoyed and began praising God. Since it was a time for prayer at the Temple, a lot of people saw what had happened. They saw this man jumping and walking about and they were amazed. Peter saw an opportunity to tell them about the risen Christ.

May we also help others and share with them about the risen Savior!

Dear Lord, guide me as I help others and share your hope. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

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