Coffee anyone?

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A group of young adults got together at a friend’s home.
They talked about a lot of things but soon the conversation turned into complaints  about politics, stress in work, trouble in our country & life.
The host offered his guests coffee.  He went to the kitchen where he had already prepared the coffee.  He picked out a number of different cups and mugs, as he had a good collection.  Some were porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain-looking, some expensive, and some exquisite.  He brought it into the room with sugar and cream telling them to help themselves to the coffee.   After everyone had chosen a cup, and began to drink their coffee, the host remarked to the group.  "If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is but normal for us to want only the best for ourselves, that is the source of our problems and stress.   "Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee.  In most cases, it's just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup.   But, subconsciously, we go for the best cups...and then we began eyeing each other's cups.   "Now consider this: Life is the coffee, and the jobs, money and, the politics, our position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life, and the type of cup we have does not define nor change the quality of life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us. God brews the coffee, not the cups.  Let’s enjoy our coffee.”   When a family suffers a devastating fire in their home a number of things transpire.  There is the immediate shock followed by the sense of loss when you start to realize all that was destroyed.  The task of sorting through the rubble, is often a very painful task.  People often have to move out of the house right away due to health issues or safety problems.  That change in itself can be very demoralizing.   At some point you begin to focus on what is really important in life. It always comes down to loved ones and relationships.  You realize that your life was not the house of the things in it.  Job, in the Old Testament, experienced this in a major way that. God forbid we will ever have to experience such a nightmare.   The house the clothes, the possessions, were just the cups that hold our lives. God is most concerned about His beloved children. The cups they come and go.  Sometimes in life the cups are beautiful and precious.  At other times they are downright disappointments. But through it all, it is the “coffee” that is important, what God is brewing in our lives.  
Fortunately, we know the end of the story.  These cups here are only temporary.  Jesus is preparing a new cup for us, that will be glorious and it will carry this precious gift of life into all eternity.
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Enjoy your coffee,
Pastor Mike


Racism Alive and Well

As our country grows more racially diverse each day, we see that racism is still a very difficult problem. It is a signal to all of us aaa-racism-ruinshow deeply sin is imbedded in our hearts and lives. A part of becoming new in Christ  (2 Cor. 5:17) involves allowing the Holy Spirit to root out the very depths of our prejudices and bias against people groups.

Recently several cases of blatant racism have been reported by the news media. There is Bundy, a cattle rancher locked in a dispute with the US Bureau of Land Management over land rights. In an interview, he takes the opportunity to reveal that there is a deep evil lingering in the depths of his heart as he makes outrageous claims about blacks. Then there is Donald Sterling, owner of a basketball franchise, who, apparently unknown to him, has a private conversation in his own home taped and released. It went viral. Again we see the darkness of racial evil dwelling in the soul. Shaquille O’Neal, a retired basketball superstar, after castigating Sterling on his racist comments, recently took to Twitter to mock the appearance of Jahmel Binion, who suffers from a rare disorder called ectodermal dysplasia. Thousands called out his obvious hypocrisy in condemning Sterling’s racism while mocking a disability. De-humanization comes in all shapes, colors and Sizes. Then a publically elected official, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., described Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, the only African-American judge on the Supreme Court, as an “Uncle Tom”. He implied that it was OK for him to say it because he is black himself. All of this is just the very tip of the racist ice-burg. This should not be  shocking to us. Evil is alive and well all over the world. What is hard to believe is that after the last century where untold millions upon millions were slaughtered at the hands of atheistic socialism known as communism, there are still millions adherents to that system which promises utopia and true equality, but never comes close to delivering it. It is one of the most racist and biased forms of government ever imagined.   They are willing to tear down nations and destroy as many as necessary to achieve their satanic inspired visions. They are blind to the lessons of history. As true followers of Christ, we need to be at the forefront of these conversations that are happening in our work places, neighborhoods, friendships and families. The Good News of Jesus Christ demands that we confess our sins, dig out the very roots of evil & prejudice in our hearts, and then offer true reconciliation that only can come through the Spirit of God.   Coram Deo – Pastor Mike    

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