Category Archives: Newsletter

Don’t Let the Devil Up-sell You!

    Have you noticed everywhere you go it seems like retailers are trying to up-sell you something. These additional promotions appeal to our earthly nature. Probably the most common is when a fast food establishment asks you “Would you like to up-size your order?” How much better is a supersized French fries and drink for $$ more. I also noticed in the seat pricing of a popular airline in our area. Would you like to pick your own seat in advance? Cha Ching. Would you like to have early boarding privileges before others? Cha Ching. Again, appealing to our human nature for pleasure, control and stress avoidance. I am sure that you can share your own examples. The Devil does the same thing to you as a follower of Christ. He is also up-selling to appeal to your sin nature.

     The Apostle Paul speaking to the church in Ephesus reminds them to be on their toes to the up-selling tactics of our adversary. “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11) The schemes of the devil are his encouragement to put yourself first. Paul, again to the church in Corinth writes, “so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.” (2 Corinthians 2:11) Satan could have just as well been the originator of the quote attributed  to P.T. Barnum, “There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute!” P.T. Barnum was “one of the best purveyors of entertainment in history — a genius in sales and marketing.” Yet, Barnum is not the source of the quote! It has been said that ‘If a lie is only printed often enough, it becomes a quasi-truth, and if such a truth is repeated often enough, it becomes an article of belief, a dogma, and men will die for it.’ (“The Crown of Life, 1869) And let us not forget Jesus’ description of the Great Deceiver, “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44b)

     One of the most debilitating half-truths that we tell ourselves is “I have no control over the choices that I make.” I like to refer to this spiritual condition as “Rational-lies-itis.”  It is a malady that all of us suffer. It is the condition of justifying doing what we want to do. Yet, the Bible reminds us, that for those that know Jesus Christ, the believer has the ability to say “No” to the up-sell. “For one who has died has been set free from sin.” (Romans 6:7) This is true for physical death; a corpse can no longer commit transgression. But what is being spoken of is the spiritual death of our old nature.  We now have the freedom to say “no” to the up-selling.

     The key here is a “born from above” relationship with Jesus Christ. The new birth is that transformation resulting in our “death” to sin. It is an incredible truth that deserves more attention (Note Romans 6-7, 2 Corinthians 5:14-21). The next time the Devil attempts to up-sell you, encouraging your rational-lies, remember who you are in Christ. “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:2)

 -Pastor Joe Parkinson

The Value of Desert Wandering?

     Life never ceases to be confusing! It seems like it has a way of interrupting the calm waters of smooth sailing. It is easy to conclude that these times are unnecessary but God’s Word reminds us that actually nothing is further from the truth. The reality is that God is working in our lives… Continue Reading

Connecting with Our Culture

     Jesus has incredible balance in all areas of His life. He provides for us an example and a challenge to follow in His footsteps. If, you are a follower of Christ, like me, you have to wrestle with your relationship and involvement in culture. Our tendency is to stiff-arm culture, but we also must… Continue Reading

Enjoy Today!

    I wonder if every generation has felt overwhelmed at times with living. It could be deadlines at work. It could be the constant care required by a child or elder parent. It could be the burden of maintaining all our stuff. There are many reasons that we become overrun by our lives. I was recently… Continue Reading

Take Advantage of the New Year

    It is interesting to consider how the calendar can make a lasting impact on our lives. I am thinking of the New Year. There is a psychological motivation that results from the change of one year to the next each January 1st. The entrance of a New Year for many presents an opportunity to make… Continue Reading

Take Advantage of Christmas

    There are many ways that we can take advantage of the Christmas holiday season. Holidays offer many opportunities over non-holidays. These opportunities can include spending time with family that we infrequently see throughout the year. There is also all the good food and the allowance to indulge, even it is only a little. There is… Continue Reading

Jesus’ Advice on Retirement

    Those that know tell us Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, have been retiring in ever increasing numbers since 2011 (approximately 2 million more each year). It is estimated that there are 77 million boomers in the U.S. They are retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day! It should be no surprise with… Continue Reading

The Power of A Right Perspective

     Have your ever asked yourself, “Am I a glass half-full or half-empty kind of person?” The statement often made of others speaks to the difference that our perspective on life makes. It is often very interesting that two people looking at the same circumstances can see things differently. I share this, though, not to… Continue Reading

Sharing the Gospel Made Simple

     Happy Thanksgiving! I am sure that for you it is one of those crazy weeks of working half a week while preparing for the Thanksgiving celebration. I was reminded recently that Thanksgiving is, in many ways, like the Gospel in that we can make it as complicated or as simple as we choose. Let… Continue Reading