Author Archives: joe

What Will My “Dash” Say?

     It has been said “A tomb stone describes a person’s life with their birth and death and everything in-between with the dash!” The question I am asking you is “What does the dash say about your life?” The Bible reminds us to be followers with a purpose. Will others looking at our “dash” see Jesus?

      King Solomon put it this way in Proverbs, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.” (Proverbs 22:1) I wonder how you would honestly respond if someone, with the power, offered to grant one wish. What would you choose? Would if be health? Would it be power, influence or prestige? Would it be wealth or something else? Would it be knowledge? What would be your request? A guy that was blessed by God to possess all these desirables reminds us that there is something worth more. It is one’s name, or reputation. The greatest possession in our lives is our testimony before others. This is especially true for followers of Jesus.  

    Now, Solomon is not talking about being driven by what others think. The Bible refers to this path to bondage as the “fear of man.” “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.” (Proverbs 29:25) Rather, his focus is on the professing believer’s testimony of being a God follower.

     Many years ago I worked with a man that was a cultural Muslim, like many in our country are cultural Christians. They are religious in name only, not practicing their faith. I had shared Christ with him many times and attempted to live it out before him. I blew it one day when I broke the speed limit and sped past him as we raced up a hill towards the top. He shared later that he was shocked that I would break the law. I was broken-hearted. I destroyed my testimony for Jesus in less than a few minutes.

     I believe that all of us have instances when we contradict who we are in Christ. These instances could involve sinful choices or simply poor choices. All of us have these snapshots in our lives because we are sinners. I like the “dash” metaphor because it reminds that we are more than “one snapshot.” I like to refer to this as our characterization or a panorama. When people look at a bigger picture of your life, the “dash,” would they conclude you are a follower of Jesus?

    Our “dash” is defined by the choices that we make each and every day?  This challenges us to consider the small steps that we take each day that either build or destroy our testimony for Jesus before others.

-Pastor Joe Parkinson

Rearview Mirror 1-23-2020

I am excited about the progress we continue to make on the church site. I learned just over a week ago that we are in a good position to have our Worship modular building and delivered by the end of May of this year. I realized several years ago that our congregational decision to develop… Continue Reading

The Dangers of Peer Pressure!

     Have you ever wondered why you do some of the things you do? It may be simply because of what you think others will think of you! You and I could wish that we were impervious to this pressure in our lives, but we are not. Our challenge is to find our identity in… Continue Reading

Rearview Mirror

I enjoy the snow. It seems to cause us to slow down and do things that we normally would not do. I hope that we were able to take advantage of the “snow days.” Just a reminder to check the church website at www.alivinghope.net for any weather cancellations. We will also notify everyone that is… Continue Reading

Am I A Victim or a Victor?

     It seems to me we live in a culture that celebrates the victim. Now, I believe in standing up for the oppressed. I am not speaking about overlooking those that are oppressed or struggling. I speaking of a person holding a $5 coffee with all the extras telling me that they are broke. It… Continue Reading

Rearview Mirror 1-9-2019

It is good to be back doing the Newsletter. I took a little break to attempt to dial things down over the holidays and spend time with family. It is exciting to think that we have a new year before us. It has been an amazing and busy year. Now we get to be a… Continue Reading

Why I Can Have Hope!

     I find myself thinking that our world is pretty messed up right now. Now, I am sure that this is not something new for humanity. But I have sure been burdened by all the drama. It seems we are experiencing a tsunami of despair. Yet, I am hopeful. Christmas provides one glimpse into “Why… Continue Reading

Rearview Mirror 12-19-2019

          Today, the 19th is Caryl and my 32nd Anniversary. I want to give a shout out to my wonderful wife. I love you! Happy Anniversary!      The church office will be closed between Christmas and New Year’s. Also our office hours are irregular with working on the church property. If  you have a… Continue Reading

Christmas is NOT about Love

    Christmas is not about love. It is not about our current American concept of love. It is interesting that the English word love is translated by several different Greek and Hebrews words. It is interesting that each of these words actually speaks about relational differences. Christmas is about more than our common cultural definition… Continue Reading

Rearview Mirror 12-12-2019

     Let me encourage you to give yourself plenty of margin for the things you need to get done. This will hopefully keep us in the right frame of mind so that we can minister to others with kindness.      The church office will be closed between Christmas and New Year’s. Also our office hours… Continue Reading