Category Archives: Pastors Blog

Letting God’s Word Transform the Real Me

     It is amazing when you think about what we think when we are right and the other person is wrong. It could be with sports, what product to purchase, who should run the country or any of a number of other issues. Now this has always been a problem, but it is compounded with the echo chambers created by social and mainstream media. The end results is that ignoring this huge blind spot in our lives only fragments my relationship with others that do not agree with me.

     Paul touches on this point after connecting with the dear people and friends in the church of Philippi. Their mutual relationship allows Paul to challenge them to see something that they are missing, their own pride. He writes, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3–4) These two words, selfish ambition and conceit are speaking of our pride. Selfish ambition speaks of when we abandon our Biblical morals to manipulate a situation for our own outcome. It is easy to see the selfish ambition in others when they use people to climb the ladder, but it is also a huge problem in our hearts too. I shared about how in the past I would purchase my wife expensive gifts with an ulterior motive. The motive is that she would reciprocate. Now, I  am not against demonstrating love by gift giving, but what I want you to think about is the motives of our heart. My motive to do something nice for another person was really driven by the perceived gain for me.

     The word for “conceit” is that attitude where we know what is right for everyone. I like to refer to it as thinking that I am the smartest person in the room and I also know what is best for everyone. This is nothing more than conceit. The challenge with this is since all of us are wired this way, the result is fragmented relationships. Conflict is always driven by differing expectations. This is true in all areas of our lives.

    Paul’s admonition to “count others more significant than yourself” means that we need to work to understand who I am in relation to God’s Word. God reminds us through the prophet Jeremiah, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”(Jeremiah 17:9) The reality is that while we think we are right or know what is best we don’t apart from God’s Word. The Lord reminds us in the next verse, ““I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.””( Jeremiah 17:10)

     Let me leave you with a couple suggestions for discovering the true you. I would encourage you to first be reading God’s Word each day. The Word becomes a mirror reflecting the real you. But reading the Word is only the first step. We must apply God’s truth to our lives. Try asking yourself, “How does this apply to me?” or “ How could I be better at this in my life?” Second, let me encourage you to honestly listen to others. The Lord not only speaks through His Word, but also others. It is said that there is “A kernel of truth in every criticism.” And last is Paul’s encouragement to consciously strive to “do good to others.” You will be surprised at the difference it makes when you make this passage your own.

-Pastor Joe Parkinson

Death and the Believer

     Most Americans would prefer to avoid anything to do with dying if at all possible. Yet, it is one of a few life outcomes that no one escapes. My burden as a pastor is that a majority of those that I have the privilege of ministering to are not prepared for it. It grieves… Continue Reading

Preparing for Life’s Final Exam!

     I was speaking with one of the tradesman that is a part of our new building. He has been busy the last couple weeks preparing for a state certification exam. He was sharing with me the challenges of finding time to prepare with all the work and life responsibilities. I was reminded of our… Continue Reading

A Secret to My Spiritual Maturity

     It seems like everywhere we turn we encounter promises of instant whatever. It could be instant happiness, instant beauty, instant wealth… It does not matter what you desire in your lives someone somewhere has already promised you instant results and almost always with no effort. The Bible reminds us that there is no such… Continue Reading

Send My Guests Off With A Prayer

     I don’t know exactly where I picked this up, but I have attempted to make it a common part of our family. I am thinking that this may have been passed down to us from Caryl’s parents but I am not sure. I like to send our guests, friends and especially family members off… Continue Reading

How Satan Trips Me Up!

     All of us are dealing with internet fraud in some way. It may be limited for some to the theft of our information from a store that we have used. It gets worse for those that have clicked on an email, like or opened a document, or allowed our computer to be held hostage… Continue Reading

My Greatest Christian Superpower!

     Our lives are filled with all kinds of different challenges. We often find ourselves at a loss as to what to do or how to respond. The challenges in our lives often leave us feeling trapped. Yet the Bible reminds us that we have one of the greatest real powers available to man that… Continue Reading

God Has It Covered!

     If you are like me, you probably have your “nose to the grindstone.” This old phrase which now refers to “working hard or diligently” comes from the bent over position of knife sharpeners sharpening knives. It is an accurate description of most of our lives. Yet, we often fail to see the bigger picture… Continue Reading