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You Should Do Something

Posted by Dave Peters on July 30, 2014 @ 10:30 AM

When I read on the Kindle my family can't tell right away what I am reading. One time, my daughter Nicole came into the room and asked if I was reading the Bible. I wasn't. "Spurgeon?" she inquired. A very good guess, to be sure, but also incorrect. I informed her that I was reading a book by John Piper who was both a pastor and a writer. Nicole suggested that since I was a pastor that I also should write something. "What should I write?" I asked. She suggested that I write my own biography. I told her that I didn't think many people would want to read about me since I haven't done very much in my life. Her response was, "Well, then you should do something!" Good advice from a teenager.

A Nerd, But Not Enough of a Nerd

Posted by Dave Peters on July 23, 2014 @ 12:51 PM

It's funny to find out how your children perceive you. We were at a McDonald's a while ago and a Stevie Wonder song started playing. This caused me to share a story with my oldest two kids who were there about how I had never heard of Stevie Wonder as a singer when I was a kid. Instead, I had a friend at Awana named Steven who had the nickname "Stevie Wonder." I thought it must be since everyone thought he was so cool. This caused me to wish that I had an equally cool nickname- something like "Davie Wonder." At this point my wife and kids cracked up and my oldest daughter said in dis-belief, "you mean you were a nerd?"

My wife was shocked that the kids had no idea that I was a nerd before she made me over. She takes all the credit for changing me to the point where I am the cool dude I am today (although I'm still waiting to be called Davie Wonder- oops, there goes my inner nerd sneaking out again). Mostly, my wife was rightly impressed with herself for changing my nerdiness so much that our teenage daughter had never suspected my nerd-like roots.

Of course being called a nerd somehow got me just a bit defensive. I began to share that I actually fit with the athletes at school as well as with the brains. I thought I was bragging when I shared that I had the second highest GPA in my graduating class (even though there were only 16 of us). My son wanted to know who had higher grades than me. When I said that her name was Rachelle, his reply was, "ha- you got beat by a girl!" Okay, that's humbling. First, I'm a nerd because I had good grades. Then, I'm not enough of a nerd because a girl had even higher grades than me. I don't think I'll ever understand my kids.

Dental Care and Soul Care

Posted by Dave Peters on July 09, 2014 @ 10:06 AM

In the first forty years of my life I averaged one trip to the dentist each decade. It's not that I have a fear of the dentist- I just have a fear of dental bills. Then we acquired dental insurance, so I headed off for my first dental visit in approximately ten years. The results were disappointing- if not predictable. The dentist was appalled by the condition of my teeth and promptly scheduled me with enough appointments in the coming months to significantly alter my once a decade average. 

It's probably no surprise to you that there is a reason dentists want to see you twice a year (at least two reasons that I can think of and the first one is so they can collect a lot of money). The health reason for seeing the dentist more than a handful of times in one's lifetime is so they can fix any problems before the problem becomes too bad. Because I waited so long to see the dentist I then needed to endure a host of root canals, extractions, fillings, etc.

Perhaps many people view church the same way as the dentist. We would go if we saw the need for it or if we had the time or the money (okay, you don't need to have money to come to church, but not everyone realizes this fact). I figured that I could handle most of my dental needs at home- I brushed my teeth faithfully and thoroughly. We might be tempted to think that we can take care of our spiritual needs at home as well. We can read the Bible and pray and listen to music and sermons at home. But it isn't the same as coming to church where your friends and fellow Christians will help keep you from greater danger and give you the spiritual maintenance that your life truly needs. My teeth deteriorated when I limited my dental care to self-sufficiency. Your faith will deteriorate if you limit your spiritual care to what you can do yourself. Do yourself a long-term favor. Become an active member in a good local church. It will guard your soul and prevent larger faith problems.

Are You Going the Wrong Way Again?

Posted by Dave Peters on July 02, 2014 @ 2:37 PM

"Are you going the wrong way again?"  My wife asked me this question on a trip home from my parents' home a couple years ago.  First, it is odd that I had headed the wrong way earlier in the day when we went to my parents' house.  Of all the places in the world, one can usually find their way to their own home and to their parents' home.  But because I wasn't thinking, I had taken a turn that would lead me to a lot of other places where we normally travel.  Now on the way home I was asked, "are you going the wrong way again?"  I answered with these accurate but cryptic words, "No, I'm just not going the right way!"  

I wasn't lost.  I had been driving in one lane.  I had to quickly move over a couple of lanes when the road divided.  Hence, I was not going the wrong way because I had been traveling the right way up to this point and because I changed lanes in time.  But before the sudden lane change, I was no longer in a position to go the right way.  Maybe I should look into a career as a lawyer as a side job.

The song that way playing in our CD player while I was not going the right way is a song called, "You Are the Way."  It was written by Pat Sczebel and recorded by Sovereign Grace on their Worship God Live CD.  This song paraphrases John 14:6- "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."  When it comes to what really matters you don't want to go the wrong way.  You don't even want not to go the right way.  What we all really need is to get to God His way- and that is through Jesus.  When it comes to your eternity, don't make excuses and don't try to talk your way into heaven.  Just follow God's way- which means following Jesus

Camels, Camels, Everywhere

Posted by Dave Peters on June 05, 2014 @ 12:00 PM

Soon after I moved to Lancaster County, I had a conversation with one of my neighbors.  He shared with me his insights on which breed of cow produced the best milk.  He would only drink this type of milk, but I don't remember what it was.  What I do remember from that conversation was that after educating me regarding breeds of cows and quantity and quality of their milk, he mentioned that we had Amish neighbors one street over who raised camels specifically for the milk.  Since that conversation, I have driven past the "camel farm" many times.  I thought that they had two or three camels, but just last week there were eight camels outside.  Wow!

This week I had the privileged of attending Sight and Sound Theater's production of "Moses."  Another WOW!  In addition to all of the amazing things that happened during the show, they also included live camels throughout the time we were there.  Camels weren't the only animals in the show, but I am more likely to see dogs and birds and horses in America than I am to see a camel.  These camels not only got stage time, they also went up and down the aisles near where we sat.

So what's with all the camel's in Lancaster County?  I don't think I've ever seen this many camels in such a short period of time- not even at a zoo.  And these camels appear to be a lot healthier than the ones at one zoo we went to where the humps of most camels looked like they were sliding off the side and ready to fall off of the animal.  (Then there was the camel at one zoo that reached out and licked my friends' baby- but that's another story).

Apparently Jesus was far more likely to see camels than we are.  He once used a camel as an illustration of a spiritual truth.  After a rich man had a discussion with Jesus and Jesus had challenged the man to true discipleship, the man refused.  Jesus then commented that it is easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to get into heaven.  Some people think that there must have been a gate in the city that was the camel's gate and the camel had to duck down or crawl through to get in.  But Jesus wasn't saying that it is difficult to get into heaven.  And the people who heard him knew that he wasn't saying that with some effort people could get into heaven.  Jesus' followers immediately asked that if a rich person couldn't get in, who could?  Jesus' response was that it is impossible to get into heaven on our own, but only with God is that entrance into heaven possible for us.  

At the end of Jesus' life on earth, He died a sacrificial death for all who would place their faith in Him.  Indeed, apart from Jesus, the entrance to heaven is blocked for all people.  But with God, through Jesus' work on our behalf, entrance to heaven becomes a reality.  What we could not do ourselves, God did as an act of His grace, mercy, and love.  Praise the Lord.

Let There Be Light

Posted by Dave Peters on May 27, 2014 @ 1:36 PM

Home improvement tasks seem never-ending.  One of the projects my family is working on currently is to make one of our garages more useful as a family room.  We were already using the garage space as a family room.  A television and a host of video games were already in the room.  We tossed some furniture and carpet into the room when we moved into the house.  But in the past few weeks we have made several improvements.  First, we added a door between this garage and the other one.  On Saturday we attacked the room as a family.  One of my daughters spackled the ceiling while my wife and other daughters painted some doors.  Meanwhile, my sons and I added insulation and drywall in front of the garage door.  We will hopefully be painting the walls and ceiling this week.  

One improvement that has already made a huge difference was replacing the two single-bulb light fixtures with different fixtures.  The new fixtures each have three bulbs and are about 4 feet long.  The new bulbs give off far more light than the old ones did.  In addition, ever since I removed the tracks for the garage door from off of the ceiling, the light spreads throughout the room better.  We are able to see better in this room because we added light and eliminated obstacles.

Jesus told His followers that we are like light to the rest of the world.  In Matthew 5:16 Jesus instructs us to let our light shine so that our good works are seen and God will be glorified.  Letting our light shine to the world might involve adding more light and also eliminating obstacles.  We add more light through obedience to Jesus and finding ways to love people around us.  We eliminate obstacles to the light by turning from every sin that is in our life.  How might you go from a single bulb to a gigantic one?  How might you get rid of the door tracks in your life so that your light will shine further?  We need to pay attention to these opportunities because they allow us to fulfill our reason for being on this earth- to glorify God.

Practice Makes Permanent

Posted by Dave Peters on May 21, 2014 @ 11:02 AM

The front screen door of my house was replaced last week.  This has led to all sorts of confusion for my family.  While we like how it looks, it took a little getting used to for many of us.  Don't misunderstand.  There is nothing wrong with the new door or the installation of the door.  Nevertheless, my family had a little trouble figuring out how to get the door open.  Some people thought there was a problem with the new door.  In reality, the problem was with the old door and our habits.  The old door had a handle that was backwards.  You had to lift up on the handle instead of turning it down.  After a year and a half we had all gotten used to opening the door the wrong way.  Now that we have a door that is positioned correctly we have to readjust our thinking and our habits.  Our practice of opening the door the wrong way had become a habit.  We now have to develop a new habit.

Habits can be very helpful in life.  You shouldn't have to take any time to think about how to open a door.  It should be routine.  These routines make life easier.  But habits are also helpful in our spiritual life.  Waking up each morning and talking to God and recognizing that it is His day is a great habit.  Reading the Bible each day is a great habit.  These habits don't just happen.  You need to practice them.  After you do them for a while, then those practices become permanent.  So let's practice good things in order that practice will make things permanent in our lives.

Welcome to Paradise

Posted by Dave Peters on November 05, 2013 @ 1:48 PM

When I informed someone in New Jersey that I was moving to Paradise (Pennsylvania) they responded, "I guess that is what some people think of Pennsylvania."  Paradise Bible Fellowship Church isn't heaven, but we hope that it will help you on your journey to heaven.  We aim to help you love and worship God.  We aim to help you follow Christ.

The thief on the cross next to Jesus was assured that he would be with Christ later that day in Paradise.  We encourage you to join us in the Pennsylvania version of Paradise as we live our lives with Christ and for Christ.

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