Hagerstown Christian Church Hagerstown Christian Church

JUST THINKIN'

Just Thinkin’ ... 4/15/21

Hey all!

It is good to be back to just thinkin’ with you again. I took some time last week to enjoy some vacation, rest & project work around the house.  Most of my “project work” entailed digging up grassy areas entangled with weeds in our back yard.

A few years back, we invested in a 14’ round pool for the family. It’s one of the Intex pools … & we’ve truly enjoyed much time out there during the summer months. Over the last few years, it’s been leveled … installed & swam in – partially emptied … re-leveled & is in good leveled condition as of last year. But in the process of installing & re-leveling & then landscaping last year – the area around the landscaping was worn & the new grass just never took.

So, this past week … I dug into this worn & weedy area to provide a clean, raked and “seed-receptive” soil in order to start afresh. Now, if you know our family at all … you know our dog RANGER. Yep … most of you will know him thru our conversations about, frustrations with … & love of him.  He is a wonderful dog. But … HE IS A DOG  ?

Now, I wasn’t just working on the grass around our pool. I was also working on repairing our grass in the area in front of our shed & along the fence & gateway on the end by our neighbors yard.   (Neighbors?  Did someone say NEIGHBORS?!) 

Yep, you can imagine … & maybe even understand the wear and tear a yard gets when your dog loves to play with, bark at for attention … & hang by the fence when your neighbors are hanging out/cooking out. And, you can picture or even have a dog that’s 75lbs+ running along the fence line … as well as loving digging at  times – and I hope you can see my desire to plant grass & plant it thick!!

Thru the process of filling unlevel areas & a few holes with fresh dirt, chopping up chunks of dirt & doing my best to rid it of present weeds … I did my best to provide the ground work of  freshly dug, raked & week-free soil – ready for new seed.  So, I decided to gather my tools, take a break & go eat my lunch. And while doing so, it decided to rain pretty hard, continuiing on thru the evening. The next morning, I woke, ate breakfast & then went back out the door to loosen all that nice dirt that had been rained on for hours.  My process of doing so was with a hand shovel … & hands that haven’t held & used a shovel continuously for 2 days - for a long time! 

Am I whining?  Ummmm … yeah, I guess I am!  ?   My hands ached, my back was tight … and YES, I’ve gotten a bit soft!  Okay … I admit it!

In addition to digging, repairing, de-weeding & all … I put up a 4’ black plastic snow fence from the house – down to the back of our fence so to keep RANGER out of the newly worked & seeded portion of the yard.  ALL IS GOOD!  I am sooooo ready to see this grass come in!   We are  “defending our yard” with new dirt & this densely- seeded grass work & some additional training of our big-pawed, wonderfully friendly & energetic  RANGER.   

So… it’s a week later. RANGER has already breached the black plastic snow fence barrier a couple times. We’ve had to re-set the boundaries for him a few times.  A fresh hole was dug ... it will be repaired.  And, we have a dog not sure just where he can officially go in his back yard right now.  Man o’ man … what a project!!  ?

It really is all good.  I wasn’t ready to say that on Monday though. But today ... I can.

And I’m just thinkin’.  I’d like to say that RANGER doesn’t know any better. But ‘ya know … I put up a fence, we have walked him to it & said “NO” many times. But somehow – he made it over – or under the “defensive wall”/ snow fence.

~ I know it takes more to deter him than a few times of saying “NO”. ~

 And, we have continued working with him.

But for our point today …

We can kind of see glimpses of us in this story … right? 

No matter how much we “know the word” … “pray for help” … “see GOD’s hand of discipline” … “see GOD’s hand of blessing when we are obedient … or … “reap the consequences of our decisions” …  TEMPTATION & THE NATURAL DESIRE TO ACT UPON IT always crouches at our door!  

UGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!   Can we ever overcome it?

The answer is YEEEESSSSSSSSSSSS!  

                                                                  Oh YEEEESSSSSSSSSSSS!  

                                                                                                                 Ayyyy-men YEEEESSSSSSSSSSSS!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”    (JESUS)  John 16:33

(GOD is our source of help, power, strength & peace. HE has OVERCOME all that is wicked!)

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, JESUS the Son of GOD, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. Let us then approach GOD’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”    Hebrews 4:14-16

(HE is very familiar with our temptations & struggles!)

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And GOD is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide for you a way out so that you can endure it.”   1 Corinthians 10:13

NOTE:  The Greek for “temptation” and “tempted” … can also mean “testing” and “tested”.

(We do not have to give in the temptation. It’s really a choice we allow ourselves to make)

“But you, man of GOD, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which  you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”  1 Timothy 6:11,12

(Remember what you now have in & thru CHRIST … Compared to all you didn’t have before HIM!)

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”    Proverbs 3:7,8

(It doesn’t get any better than that!)

Oh… the refreshing TRUTH & POWER of GOD & HIS word!

Let us be found reading it even more … applying it even more …  & living it more! It is our source of understanding true power, true contentment, joy, hope & peace in GOD – thru CHRIST – not this world.

Love ‘ya my friends!

Pastor Brad

“Finally, brothers & sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things."  Philippians 4:8