Author Archives: joe

The Lord Desires to Work in My Situation!

     I am thinking that one description of “life” could be a never-ending parade of situations. It could be issues with ourselves, other or just life itself. Life is a never-ending line of concerns. The opportunity is to see these not at obstacles but as an opportunity to a fuller life. I was recently reminded, in reading the account of Jesus feeding the 5000, that the Lord wants to work in us through our situations!

      If we keep our eyes open, you will notice the Bible repeatedly reminding us of the value these regular interruptions. Jesus feeding the 5000 is one of those accounts. It happens be only one of two accounts that are included each gospel record. The other account is of Jesus’ resurrection. We read, “Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?”” (John 6:5) The account reveals later the scope of the challenge, when we learn of the need to feed 5000 men. Matthew’s account reminds us that the situation was even more significant by revealing that there were also women and children needing to be fed. My wife and I have hosted many larger gatherings that included a meal. Our largest events numbered close to 300 people. I cannot imagine the challenge of feeding 5000 people. Remember Jesus question was for a purpose.

     I have also found myself wondering, “Why did Jesus call out Philip?” We know there were at least eleven other disciples there. The account does not say specifically. But we know that there was a life lesson for Philipp and the other disciples. It would be a lesson to trust God!

    What was Jesus attempting to teach Philip and the disciples with this challenge of feeding so many. If you have been part of a large event, you know that there are actually a number of challenges to this “situation!” Jesus presented one challenge to which Philip identified a second. Where would they buy enough bread for such a large group and probably more important, how would the pay for it? “Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.”” (John 6:7) A calculation was done in 2013 to determine the current value of a denari based on the cost a loaf of bread in Jesus day and now. It was determined that a denari, the value of a day wage for a laborer, would be the equivalent of the $20 in 2013. The $4000 in 2013 dollars would not go very far to solving the problem. They were in over their heads!  

     The verse that stood out to me is John’s commentary on the predicament. “He [Jesus] said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do.” (John 6:6) I need you to stop that ponder this for a moment. The Lord was working through this dilemma, and I would argue every life situation, to draw Philip, the others disciples and us to trust Him.

     The last observation reminds us that the Lord wants to multiply what we bring to the table. Many of you know the source of the Lord’s provision here. “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish,” (John 6:9a) What we often value as insignificant, becomes significant with the Master’s touch.

     What is the situation you are facing now? The Bible reminds us that the Lord is desiring to work through it. The question is, will we let Him. Let us never be surprised what the Lord is able to do, when we trust Him.

 -Pastor Joe Parkinson

Why is Prayer So Hard?

     There are some things in life that just seem to be harder than others. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to do those things that require discipline? It could be shedding a few pounds or doing that chore that you just do not enjoy doing. All of us have something that takes… Continue Reading

Blessing of a Great Team!

     It is amazing to see what the Lord can do when we let Him work through us. I am being a little nostalgic as I ponder Living Hope’s 22nd Anniversary this next week. It has been one of the greatest opportunities in my life. I’m thankful to have the opportunity to be part of… Continue Reading

Greatest Blessing in Praying!

    Our great oversight, living in a culture of instant gratification, is missing the blessing of not getting what I want. We have been tricked into believing that meeting my wants results in happiness. Yes, there are times that it is true, but let us not forget the other times when not getting what we want… Continue Reading

My Biggest Obstacle!

    It seems the summer travel is a season for obstacles. Over the last month everywhere I go there is a traffic jam. The reasons have ranged from road construction, to accidents and just driving at the wrong time of the day, rush hour. The truth is “obstacles” are part of life. We fail to see… Continue Reading

Which Moses Reflects Me?

     I have had the privilege of visiting some of the greatest places in our county both on foot and by car. I remember one time on a car trip to Southern California that took the wrong exit heading through Sacramento. I was convinced that we had successfully navigated the traffic of a busy complex… Continue Reading

Am I Letting Others Hold Me Back?

     I have never come across a person that enjoys traffic. I know I don’t! For that matter is seems people have an aversion to any kind of lines or delays. If you are like me, you will do almost anything to avoid these hold ups. I will avoid driving during times of high traffic… Continue Reading

God’s Antidote for Discouragement

     It is a safe assumption that all of us have waded through swamps of discouragement. The danger of lumbering along in our despondency is our discouragement only grows. One of the best things that we can do to break this vicious cycle is to respond in a way that pushes back against our feelings.… Continue Reading

Am I A Success?

     The culture is continually pressing us to adopt its definition of “success.” Just look at the advertisements. All it takes to be successful is the purchase of their product. Investors on the other hand promise financial success with a purchase of precious metals or their inside trading insights newsletter. Then there is our mirror,… Continue Reading