Category Archives: Pastors Blog

Who Am I Listening to?

     If you are like me, you probably do not pause too often to reflect on who you are listening to. I was reminded of the importance of who we listen to in two different Bible readings yesterday. The Bible reminds us that we need to be careful who we listen to.

   One of the greatest dangers in life are two fold. First, it is not listening to any outside sources. Yes, we are called to think for ourselves yet without any input we are like a device with no apps loaded. We are limited to what we already know. The Bible warns us against being this kind of person. The second danger in life is listening to the wrong kind of sources in our lives. This may even be a greater danger that not listening to only ourselves. The reason why is that listening to the wrong sources, on the earthly sense, can lead to personal and financial ruin and eternally lead to eternal condemnation. The risk is just too great for us not to take control of this area of our lives!

    The first reminder from Scripture comes from the account of the Exodus. I have been reading through this section of the Bible for the last couple days. It is a glorious passage for God’s people. It is on the other hand a grievous passage for Pharaoh and his people. Pharaoh serves as an example of that person that listens only to himself. It is hard to understand how he could be so hard-hearted. Now some of you may recall that God communicated “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart.” Now, the Lord could have “hardened” his heart but that is not how the Lord normally works. I understand this to mean that the Lord left Pharaoh to his own devices. In fact, we read several time just that, “Still Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.” The results of not listening to the Lord or seeking the right council was devastating for Pharaoh and the people of Egypt. I wonder how often we “harden” our hearts to our own detriment and that of those around us.

     The second reminder from Scripture is found in the New Testament book of 1 John. He gives a serious warning from another extreme, false teachers. We need to be on our guard, even with those that claim to be “Christian.” “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

     The Lord has provided His people with several solid Biblical resources. The first is the indwelling Holy Spirit, God himself. The rest of the resources begin with God’s Word, the Bible. There is no substitute to not only reading the Word, but studying it to understand it more fully. Solid mature Spiritual Leaders (i.e. Pastors) and believers should also be on this list. The best people are those that know us and can push back with the tough truths that we might not want to hear. We have also been blessed with an abundance of  others resources from written resources to online resources.

     It is easy for us to become overwhelmed with all the voices in our lives. Let me leave us with this challenge from the Lord, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’” (Revelation 2:7) So who or what are you listening to?

-Pastor Joe Parkinson

What Am I Waiting For?

     This past week I added another year to my age brings me to within touch of 60 years old. It is hard to believe that I am close to having lived six decades. It is amazing at how quickly time passes us by if we let it. It is especially a shame when this… Continue Reading

Silent Night?

     We all know the words of this classic Christmas song on the birth of Jesus: Silent night, Holy night, All is calm, all is bright, Round yon virgin, mother and child Holy infant, tender and mild, Sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in heavenly peace. I am reminded of the paradox presented in the birth… Continue Reading

The Blessed Weariness of Ministry

     It was been one wonderfully crazy week for me. If this week was a story the unfolding events of this week would definitely be building to the climax of the story. I am reminded of the blessedness of ministry related weariness. It is something that all followers of Jesus should be familiar with regularly.… Continue Reading

The Christmas Epidemic

     It is interesting how nearsighted we can be when looking at life situations. Our tendency is to see the up close and personal situation in our lives and fail to see if from the perspective of distance. It is easy for us to think that we are the only ones to be facing this… Continue Reading

Striving to be Thankful!

     My guess would be that thankfulness does not come naturally for most of us. It seems we are more proficient at finding things that are wrong then celebrating all the good. It does not take much work to fixate on one thing that is not right and to ignore a multitude of things that… Continue Reading

Be Still and KNOW that I Am God!

     It seems like the “peace of God” is in short supply these days. It is so easy to get sucked into the things that are happening around us. It could be politics, family, job, church or even our own unhappiness with life. The problem with getting sucked in is that it defines our world… Continue Reading