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Pastor Joe and MaryHelen Martinez

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Wednesday, June 29 2016
Wednesday, June 29, 2016         
       A lady was having her scheduled medical checkup. When she stepped on the scales they showed she weighed 204 so she told the young assistant “Why don’t you just take off the last four?” A few seconds later the doctor ran into the room and told the patient that he had to get there quick because he wanted to see how a person looks who only weighs 20 pounds. Another lady called her doctor’s office to get an appointment for her teenage son. She told the receptionist that she was worried about him because he had not even driven his motorcycle in four days. When she asked her “do you have a thermometer?” she replied “No, it’s a Kawasaki.” In the case of both these corny jokes, it is obvious that these people did not understand the question.
       Situations like these remind me of Jesus’ parables. Upon hearing one of them, His disciples asked Him: “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” Jesus replied: “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.” (See Matthew 13:10-11) Just in these two verses alone, many people misunderstand Jesus’ words. Those who don’t, assume that God has favorites and that He purposely hides the words from many so that they will not get saved. Of course, that’s not it at all. The process begins in the heart. It is like the power of the sun. It will melt wax but harden clay.
       God will never deny anyone who sincerely asks, seeks, and knocks at His door, as Jesus promised in His Sermon on the Mount. (Mt. 7:7) Those who don’t, on the other hand, will never get it. They will never understand the simple message of the gospel because they are perfectly happy living the way they are and think they have no need to change. Just as I mentioned in this past Monday’s blog, those who reject the truth will always receive the lie. And I am not referring here to certain things about God and the bible we sometimes get stumped by. There are things we will never know while we’re on this side of Heaven. No, I’m referring to the simple message of the gospel, knowing beyond any doubt that Christ is our Savior and being assured that Heaven awaits us. This, you get, right?
 
Memory verse for the week: (Romans 1:20“For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”
 
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 04:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, June 28 2016
Tuesday, June 28, 2016         
       I was only four years old at the time when my parents got a special delivery letter from the war department notifying them that my brother Ruben was reported missing in action in Germany during World War II and presumed dead. You can imagine the grief and the sorrow that ripped their hearts upon hearing those news. Not only were they dealing with the heartbreak of believing they would never see him again, they didn’t even have the assurance that they would ever be able to give him a proper burial. Well, imagine the joy they must have felt almost a year later when they got the news that my brother was alive and in an army hospital in Germany having survived a ten month nightmarish ordeal in a concentration camp and would soon be flown back to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.
       I remember this event in my family’s history every time I read again the 45th Chapter of Genesis. Jacob, when he was misled by his other sons into believing that his son Joseph had died from an attack by some wild animal, took this news so hard that he refused to be comforted even though his family made every effort to do so. In fact, he vowed: “I will continue to mourn until I join my son in the grave.” (Gen. 37:35) Then, many years later and on the day he was given the news that Joseph was, in fact, alive, the Bible says that Jacob’s spirit was revived. (See Gen. 45:27)
       The Bible says: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings.” (Isaiah 52:7 KJV) This is a special blessing from God to all bearers of good news. What a privilege and honor it is to share with others the message of life and hope in Christ. And what a special blessing it is to be able to remind the grieving that their loved ones in Christ are not dead but alive and well and are no longer just in their memories but are up ahead waiting for them. If you had forgotten that eternal truth, I trust that today your spirit too will be revived, just like Jacob when he learned that his son Joseph was alive.
 
Memory verse for the week: (Romans 1:20) “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”
 
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 09:19 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, June 27 2016
Monday, June 27, 2016            
       There is a lot of truth in the old adage, “the truth hurts” but if truth be told, a lie is even more hurtful; and that’s the truth. We heard last Friday about an event conducted in Dallas by a well known motivational speaker where thirty people suffered serious burns to their feet when they tried to walk on a bed of hot coals for the purpose of conquering their fears. Five of them had to be treated at the hospital. Sadly, they were burned not only in their feet but in their pocketbook as well.  
       I know I shouldn’t be but sometimes I’m amazed at how gullible many people can be. If someone tells them they can fly they will quickly convince themselves “Yes, I believe I can !” In this case, they believed when they were told: “walk on these hot coals and you will see you will not get burned.” Ironically, many naïve folks such as these often claim that the Bible is not a God inspired book but just a collection of ideas, fables, theories, and opinions of misguided individuals. The Bible tells us why many think this way: In the 2nd Chapter of 2 Thessalonians we see that because many of these reject the truth, “God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie.” (verse 11) Simply put, anyone who rejects or fails to receive the truth will swallow the lie every time.
       From the beginning of time many have been hurt when they chose to believe the lie instead of the truth. Eve fell for the serpent’s claim when he told her that God didn’t want them to eat of the forbidden tree only because He didn’t want them to be like Him, knowing good and evil. Then he told her to go ahead and eat, that she would not die, and we all know how that went. If the serpent from the beginning fabricated lies and half truths about God and His existence do you think it is any different today? Obviously, he has convinced many to believe in science instead of God, like Nacho Libre’s sidekick, Esqueleto, and I bet most of you, if not all, have been ridiculed at one time or another by those who are much too smart to believe in God or in the Bible. About this type of people, Paul wrote: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 1:22) If you are a regular reader of this blog and/or others like it, you are most likely a child of God already. Therefore, I encourage you to go on believing and trusting God, for our battle against all those who are trying to shake us from our faith will continue until Jesus comes for us. And as far as us being able to fly is concerned, we may not be able to right now, but one day we’ll fly way beyond the sky.
 
Memory verse for the week: (Romans 1:20) “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”
 
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 09:16 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, June 25 2016
Friday, June 24, 2016                    
       The word is rarely used anymore and I suspect that those of you who have yet to hit the half century mark may have never heard it. I am referring to the word “druthers”  The dictionary says it is “the power or opportunity to choose.” It is an old alteration of “would rather.” Back in the 50’s, Bobby Darin recorded a song entitled “If I had my druthers.” The first line went like this: [If I had my druthers / I'd druther have my druthers  / Than anything else I know  /  While you'd druther hustle, accumulatin' muscle  / I'd druther watch daisies grow]
       I think of this corny old word every time I come across these verses: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.” (Philippians 1:21-24) In more simple terms, Paul was saying: “Christ is my life but if I die, I win. I am in a dilemma. If I stay with you, I will get much fruit for my labor, but if I go to be with Jesus, it will be even better. Therefore, if I had my druthers, I’d choose to be with Him.”
       I suspect that the majority of elderly Christians arrive at the same crossroad as Paul. They get to the point where they are torn with this thought: “Do I want to go or do I want to stay?” And just like Paul, many will see the benefits of both. If they stay, they feel they may be used of God to continue being a positive influence on others. They also know that their loved ones will be very happy if they stay with them just a little bit longer. If they go, on the other hand, they know that they will be free from all the pain and suffering of this old world, and easily recognize, as did Paul, that this will be far better for them even if they feel their families and loved ones will be hurt deeply upon their departure. They may even say: “All things being equal, if I had my druthers, I’d rather be with Jesus.” Do you have your druthers?
 
Memory verse for the week: (James 5:20“Remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 08:17 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, June 22 2016
Wednesday, June 22, 2016          
       How would you feel if someone, out of the blue, would pay all your outstanding debts? I’m not a very expressive or demonstrative person but I sincerely believe that if someone one day were to pay my house, car, and all my other debts in full, I would ecstatically lose all emotional control. It would be a dream come true, something to shout about. Even as you are reading today’s blog, I suspect that a few of you have found it very difficult to get rid of this this haunting thought: you have debts you worry may eventually overwhelm you. You have found it hard to find peace of mind and may have even lost much sleep thinking about it.
       Getting into a financial mess is no different than getting into any other kind of trouble. The truth is that it can happen to anybody. Nevertheless, those of us who really know God should know that He can rescue us from any kind of trouble, the financial ones included. One particular promise that comes to mind regarding this situation is 1 Corinthians 10:13. Most bible versions use the word “temptation” for this verse but some bible readers immediately think it refers to the temptations of the flesh. More exactly, it refers to the trials of life. The NAB (New American Bible) version says it this way: “No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it.” There is your promise! God is faithful and if you seek His help He will come through for you, so relax. If you make a sincere effort to do something about it, the Lord will do the rest.
       In a much greater magnitude, the Lord already paid an enormous debt we could never possibly pay. I am referring to the sin debt. Had Jesus not gone to the cross to shed His blood for our sins, we would all be doomed today to a Christ-less eternity. Colossians 2:14 NLT says it this way: “He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.” Can you see it? He cancelled our sin debt! Now that is really something to shout about.
 
Memory verse for the week: (James 5:20) “Remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”
 
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 12:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, June 21 2016
Tuesday, June 21, 2016          
       Someone who is very near and dear to me and who is probably reading today’s blog, many times will greet me with the words in today’s title. The thought for today is actually an expanded version of the meditation I wrote for our church bulletin this past Sunday. [To the 72 disciples Jesus sent ahead to the towns He would visit later, it was important as well as exciting that even the demons were subject to them in His name. I suspect many of you may have been equally excited on the day you realized the same in your own Christian life. Jesus acknowledged His disciples' excitement but quickly reminded them: "do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven." (Luke 10:20
       In the same way, to many people today it is also important and exciting to know their ancestry. Some have invested quite a bit of money to research the matter and sadly, some of these have also been slightly disappointed because not all of their ancestors lived glorious, significant, or upright lives. What we were can never be as important as what we are today. In fact, many of us may say: "I thank God that I’m not the person I used to be."
       Perhaps we’re not sure who we were before, but not anymore. Today, we can proclaim what we sometimes sing here in church, "I know who I am." And if our past was not glorious, our future definitely will be. In Christ, who are we? We are a blessed and holy people, a royal priesthood, a chosen generation, the children of the living God. (See 1 Peter 2:9) I know, sometimes we feel like we fall way short of this glorious description but if it is God who says this about us, it shouldn’t really matter what others say. In fact, neither should it matter when we ourselves don’t believe it. We’re much more than just an average so and so, but only because Christ lives in us. Now, that’s something to be happy about.]        
 
Memory verse for the week: (James 5:20“Remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”
 
      
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 11:22 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, June 20 2016
Monday, June 20, 2016                       
       Because of the particular situation, some of our decisions must be made on the spot. For the most part, however, the majority of our important decisions require prayer, careful thought, and consideration. That includes time. If you remember last Friday’s blog, Stephen Curry’s wife decided to immediately express her opinion on Twitter after he fouled out of last Thursday night’s game against Cleveland. Big mistake! Even as you read this blog today, one, two, or more of you are seriously considering taking action on a decision you have been contemplating for some time. I trust you have gone through the steps I just mentioned and have given the matter the sufficient time it required. If you haven’t, you and others could be hurt as a result of your action.
       The answers we seek regarding which direction to take on a particular matter don’t always come quickly. One thing I have frequently advised others concerning decisions they must make is to not move at all until they get a clear answer on the matter. Assuming you have already acknowledged God and have diligently sought His response, doing nothing at all is better than doing something you are not totally convinced about. I have lost count of the many times in the past I have delayed taking the action I had been leaning upon because I was not completely sure it was the right thing or the right time. Perhaps I waited much longer that I should have in some cases, but in most of these, the Lord intervened and took care of the matter and spared me a lot of anxiety and worry in the process. Besides, when the Lord takes action on our behalf, it is always far superior to anything we could have done.
       In a biblical account in the 25th Chapter of 1 Samuel, David almost acted upon a hastily thought decision and the Lord used a wise woman named Abigail to convince him not to. Realizing what she had done, David said in response: “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands.”(verses 32-33) Apart from benefiting from today’s blog or heeding it’s biblical message, perhaps you may be the Abigail in the life of someone who has announced he or she plans to take action on a matter. The Lord may use you to ensure they have already taken the required steps in the process, or else to intervene if you feel they are making a mistake. You may be sparing some folks you may or may not know plenty of grief, sorrow, or heartache.
 
Memory verse for the week: (James 5:20“Remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”
 
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 10:58 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, June 17 2016
Friday, June 17, 2016      
       I am not on Twitter or Facebook but I was reading this morning on the internet about a tweet the wife of Stephen Curry, Ayesha, sent out immediately after her husband, this year and last year’s NBA’s MVP, fouled out of last night’s playoff game in Cleveland, then proceeded to get ejected for complaining and flinging his mouthpiece on the floor in frustration. She tweeted that the playoffs were rigged, an accusation which arises every year the Finals become a six or seven game series. To put it more simple, the allegation is that referees are instructed to call more fouls against the team who has won more games in the series, in order for it to go six or seven games, thus insuring greater financial revenues for the NBA. Mrs. Curry had a quick change of heart and deleted her tweet shortly thereafter but not fast enough to make it disappear.
       The current electronic age has mostly passed me by so I am so I am not in as much danger as some of you who may be actively involved in the many instant communication outlets of today. I am referring to the danger of sending out a response made in the heat of the moment. In my case, I get a chance to read over what I have written and decide if that is exactly what I want to say before I send it. I admit that I have written messages I later decided not to send and also remember letters I have written in the past which I never mailed out.
       The Bible has quite a bit to say on this matter. Proverbs 29:20 says: “Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them.” Does anybody you know come to mind? Ecclesiastes 7:9 reads: “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.” There are several other verses which address this issue but my favorite is Colossians 4:6. The GW (God’s Word) version says it this way: “Everything you say should be kind and well thought out so that you know how to answer everyone.” I’m sure all of you already know it’s simple but clear message, but here it is anyway: “Think before you say or write anything.”
 
Memory verse for the week: (Joshua 1:7) “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.”
 
 
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 10:54 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, June 15 2016
Wednesday, June 15, 2016         
       After the deadly shooting in Orlando this past Sunday, Texas lieutenant governor, Dan Patrick, sent out his customary Sunday morning scripture verse on his website which happened to be Galatians 6:7 which reads: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Now, both the lieutenant governor and his staff insisted that the verse was scheduled the previous Thursday and was in no way intended to be a response to the Orlando gay night club shooting, but was just coincidental. Although Patrick is known for his ultra conservative views, I’ll take him and his staff at their word. This blog is not directly about that particular incident but rather about the incorrect and sometimes untimely usage of God’s Word. Just the past Sunday, my Spanish sermon was about that very issue. I cited Paul’s instructions to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2: where he advised the young church overseer to “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, one who rightly divides (interprets correctly) the Word of truth.” (vs.15)
       The Word of God is like a powerful weapon. (see Hebrews 4:12) It is intended to be a benefit for all who read it, but in the hands of those who don’t really know or understand it, it can do more harm than good. That appeared to be the case regarding our lieutenant governor’s gaffe; more people were outraged than happy with it. The Word of God should not to be used to accuse, belittle, disparage, criticize, or condemn those who are not in line with it. It should rather be used to point out people’s sins and show and offer them God’s remedy, the gospel. If Jesus won over the sinful, and adulterous Samaritan woman by befriending her first, should that not be the pattern for us to follow when dealing with those we feel are in danger of missing out on Heaven? Unfortunately, pastors in many places use their pulpit for that verything and they end up driving sinners away instead of drawing them to Christ. In other words, they lose them before they win them.
        The majority of folks who commented on Patrick’s Sunday morning’s biblical verse got the impression that he was happy that these who died got exactly what they deserved. Perhaps this was just an instance of bad timing because the verse in question, when used at the proper time, has been used to bring many souls to Christ. We may not agree with or condone people’s sins or chosen lifestyles, but we don’t have to hate them for it, hope they die, or hope that God punishes them. If God is not willing that any should perish, but that all come to repentance, should we not want the same? (See 2 Peter 3:9)
 
Memory verse for the week: (Joshua 1:7) “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.”
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 11:12 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, June 13 2016
Monday, June 13, 2016  
       Greetings to all; I trust I’ll be able to visit with you more than last week. Not only was it an activity filled week, I was also dealing with a nasty and persistent bout with my customary cold allergy. They gave me a shot for it last Monday besides antibiotics and prescribed cough medicine, yet I’m still dealing with the cough, phlegm, and chest congestion today. And therein lies the biblical truth I would like to share with you today. You see, the source of my allergy condition has not yet been addressed. My problem originates in the head, in particular a continual post nasal drip. My doctors have been able to give me a slight relief in regards to the other symptoms, but as long as the drip does not stop, I will never acquire complete healing.
       My situation reminded me of an account in the 6th Chapter of Jeremiah. God’s people were struggling with all types of calamities due to their cruelty and wickedness. They sought relief by consulting with priests and prophets who were not called of God. These were not much different than they were, yet the people trusted in these prophets’ false hopes. Verses 13-14 say: “From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.” The bogus priests and prophets were telling the people that peace and relief were on the way. It was not. These false promises may have soothed them temporarily but it was as if they only placed a small band aid on their cancerous wound. The source of their troubles was not being addressed. They needed to ask forgiveness and truly repent, otherwise they would find no relief.
       If you are struggling today with an issue that just won’t go away, have you gotten to the root of the problem? Some of them are quite easy to identify. For example, if I am suddenly aware that I have gained much more weight than I should, will the root of the problem be a mystery to me? If your situation is a little bit more complicated, I’m sure the Lord will reveal it to you if you ask His help. Once you get to the source, then make a sincere effort to do something about it, getting relief should not be far behind.
 
Memory verse for the week: (Joshua 1:7) “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.”
 
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 11:05 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, June 08 2016
Wednesday, June 8, 2016         
       In the 11th Chapter of Corinthians, Paul gave some very important advice for the church, including the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper. (Holy Communion) The very first verse to me, however, though very short, has stayed with me longer than the rest of the things he shared in the chapter. It says: “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” (KJV) Still, I like the American Standard Version (ASV) of it even better. It says it this way:“Be ye imitators of me, even as I also am of Christ.”
       I was thinking of this verse again yesterday while I was reflecting on the many people that I’ve met throughout the years of whom I have said to myself. “I wish I could be like him or her.” Have you had people in your life, or have them now, of whom you have thought the same, those who possess many great virtues, or have one which is outstanding? It could be their kindness, love, generosity, humility, wisdom, drive, or something else, but whatever it is, it gives you a genuine desire to emulate what you see in them. I suppose if there was ever anybody who could be bold enough to tell others “imitate me”, especially in regard to serving the Lord, it would be the Apostle Paul. There are entertainers who have made a fortune imitating famous celebrities but I think there is even a greater benefit available to us if we can imitate some godly folks we have known in our lifetime. The great thing about this also is that many of these who are worthy of emulating, live amongst us.
       They say that “imitation is the highest form of flattery” so if anyone has ever told you that they wish they could be like you, they couldn’t give you a better compliment. If you’ve heard others tell you the same, I congratulate you, especially if it involves Christ like virtues. That would be a good indication that you are living a God honoring life. If and when it happens to us, however, I pray the Lord will give us the grace and wisdom to reply, “No, please, you can do much better than that, try to be like Jesus instead.”
 
Memory verse for the week (1 Peter 5:8) “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
 
 
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 11:04 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, June 06 2016
Monday, June 6, 2016              
        One of Jesus’ parables started out this way: “He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.” (Luke 19:12-13 KJV) Although other translations of the bible don’t use the word “occupy”, to me this parable has a clearer meaning because of it. It speaks about the duty of Christ’s servants and the original Greek word for “occupy” used by the writer signifies “be busy.” Other versions, like the NIV, say it this way: “put this money to work until I come back.” The reason the word “occupy” is more meaningful to me is that it immediately reminds me of the Spanish word, “ocupaos” which means……….. “be busy!” There is an old phrase people don’t use too much anymore which says that “idleness is the devil’s workshop.” There are even some who think it is a bible verse. It is not, but I believe it is a valid premise. To me, it means that Satan works more in the lives of those who are not busy doing meaningful things.
       I was thinking of this parable recently, and particularly of the word “occupy” when I heard of a certain person who is going through a rough stretch due to depression. One of the best medicines for anybody going through a difficult trial is to be busy. When we are busy doing important or necessary things, we take our focus off our troubles and focus on the task ahead. We start thinking about someone or something else and many times, without realizing it, we forget all about our personal problems.
       If you have found yourself going through a trial which is hard to cope with, or if you realize there is not enough meaningful activity in your life, the best thing to do is to get busy doing something important, necessary, or positive. When you do, you just may be helping someone else who is dealing with their own burdensome issues. In fact, if you can spend some quality time with someone who is down in the dumps and find something positive, or even just nice, you can do together, it will do you both a world of good.  
 
Memory verse for the week (1 Peter 5:8) “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
 
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 10:52 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, June 02 2016
Thursday, June 2, 2016      
       When I was a young man, a very popular song entitled “You Talk Too Much” stayed in the top ten for a long time. The song was written by Fats Domino’s brother in law but since he turned it down, a fellow by the name of Joe Jones recorded it and reaped it’s rewards. If Fats Domino had recorded it, it may have been as big as “Blueberry Hill.” It’s first stanza says: “You talk too much / You worry me to death / You talk too much / You even worry my pet / You just talk, talk too much.” When I catch myself talking too much, I often remember that old time tune.
       The songwriter may have not been aware of it but it’s message is quite biblical. Proverbs10:19 says: “Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.” The Good News Translation (GNT) says it this way: “The more you talk, the more likely you are to sin. If you are wise, you will keep quiet.” The simple message is: “By all means talk, just don’t talk more than you have to.” I believe that most ministers will agree that it is not always easy to limit the length of our sermons for the simple reason that we feel we have so much information to share. We don’t want to short change our members; we want them to get the full benefit of the Lord’s message. With the Holy Spirit’s leading, however, we can find the middle ground. I was always amazed at the fantastic results Billy Graham got from his evangelistic sermons even though he always preached less than thirty minutes. By the same token, I have been in churches where visitors got up and left in the middle of the pastor’s sermon. I have seen the same in many funeral services. To be fair, it is not always because the message was too long.
       While having breakfast Tuesday at a popular restaurant, a departing customer confronted the floor manager to complain and gave him a menacing and lengthy earful. The man just kept on going and going and the poor manager just kept apologizing. For me, it would have been way out of character, but I was really tempted to go tell the griping gentleman, “Sir, I think you got your point across a long time ago.” Do you know people like that, those who always hog a conversation or those who just keep on rambling, believing that the more they say, the more convincing they will be? Words are like energy, we should use them wisely and save as many of them as we can for when we really need them.
 
Memory verse for the week (John 8:36“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”      
 
 
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 10:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, June 01 2016
Wednesday, June 1, 2016       
       Yesterday I wrote about good memories and while I was at the altar later at our Tuesday Prayer meeting in church, I remembered the many times in my life when the Lord has been merciful to me. Were it not for the Lord’s mercies, my life would be very different to the one I live today. Were it not for the Lord’s mercies in my life, I would have lost my wife, my family, and my job, besides many other precious things, a long time ago. I certainly would not be in the position I’m in today. In fact, I seriously doubt I would be alive at all.
       One of my favorite psalms, and one I read often when visiting with the sick, is Psalm 103. David wrote:“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: It is He who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies.” (verses 2-4) Besides being forgiven, redeemed, healed, and saved from destruction, we are the constant recipients of His lovingkindness and mercy. Assuming you are honest, I bet you all will admit, as I did, that your life would be very different today had the Lord not crowned you with lovingkindness and mercy throughout your lifetime. In fact, He is merciful with us everyday. We all like to repeat the eternal truth that God is love. Well, we would not be wrong in also saying that He is mercy.
       Because of God’s mercy, no one will ever know, on this side of Heaven, the improper thoughts that often dance through our head. Neither will they ever know, most of our secret sins. Imagine the embarrassment if they did. Oh, I’m sorry, some of you who are reading today’s blog don’t have any secret sins or skeletons in the closet. I was just referring to the two or three of us who do. Anyway, as David advised us, let us never forget to acknowledge and be grateful to God for all His benefitsespecially His lovingkindness and mercy. In another psalm, (63:3) David wrote: “Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.” And all of God’s people said………..
 
Memory verse for the week (John 8:36“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”      
 
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 07:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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