WANTED! Willing to Risk Death Daily

Wanted
Stamp Art by Bureau of Engraving and Printing; Imaging by Gwillhickers – U.S. Post Office; Smithsonian National Postal Museum, Public Domain, Link

There were wanted posters everywhere throughout the Civil War Era of the United States. Not the kind in post offices because there weren’t any post offices yet! These “Wanted Posters” read as follows:

“WANTED – YOUNG, SKINNY, WIRY FELLOWS NOT OVER EIGHTEEN. MUST BE EXPERT RIDERS, WILLING TO RISK DEATH DAILY. ORPHANS PREFERRED. WAGE $25.00 PER WEEK.

The need for delivering information over long distances across the great divide of our troubled young nation was becoming more critical with each passing day. The Pony Express, now only in its infant stage was answering that call and was looking for some very special young men; men who were willing to make great sacrifices, spending long hard hours in the saddle. They had to be totally dedicated to the cause, making certain that the mail would reach its destination no matter what.

This was their Pledge of Service:

“I, (name), do hear by swear, before the great and living God, that during my engagement and while I am an employee of the Pony Express, I will, under no circumstances, use profane language; that I will drink no intoxicating liquors; that I will not quarrel or fight with any other employee of the firm, and that in every respect I will conduct myself honestly, be faithful to my duties, and so direct all my acts as to win the confidence of my employer. So help me God!”

In 1860, the newly minted Pony Express mail route would consist of nearly 2,100 miles. The service would start in St. Joseph, Missouri and pass through Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and end in San Francisco, California. The service guaranteed the delivery of mail from St. Joseph, Missouri to San Francisco, California in an incredibly short 10-day time span.

In their 1½-year history, the Pony Express encountered just one rider who refused to make his run. These riders were to face every type of natural disaster and danger imaginable, from crossing rivers with wild rapids, to parched desert sands, and every possible weather condition the Wild West could unleash at them. It was through this unpredictable world of nature that the Pony Express riders dared to pass. Steep grades, narrow canyons, howling winds, bone-chilling blizzards, incredibly deep snow drifts all were barriers to the progress of even the most dedicated rider.

Consider this a call to all Christians – We have no excuse for not sharing the Message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have social media, videos, blogs, and vlogs. What took them 10 days to travel 2100 miles takes us about 3 hours. We’re a generation engorged with opportunity, but so few are willing to take the risk, the plunge, or to dive right in. There needs to be an expediency and urgency to our message! Men and women who are willing to brave the harsh elements of counter-culture and controversy to stand up for the noblest cause there is, “Go ye into all the world…” 

The postman’s creed, which in truth there is no swearing in for, states this, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

Our Mission is the Message! Let’s not allow anyone or anything to stand between us and a lost and hurting generation. Their lives depend upon it; their eternity depends upon it.

WANTED! Dedicated and devoted Christians willing to cross racial, social, geographical, and political, boundaries. WAGE: OUT OF THIS WORLD!

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute.  One Minute Spiritual Sermonettes, Devotionals, and Sermon Ideas for Busy Christians, Pastors, Teachers, and Bible Students!  Visit our ABOUT PAGE  for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you.  ~ RD Mangold

Praying Confidently

prayconfident (1)Many of us lose confidence in prayer because we don’t recognize the answer. We ask for strength; God gives us difficulties which make us strong. God sends problems, the solutions of which develop wisdom. We plead for prosperity; God give us a brain and brawn to work. We plead for courage; God give us danger to overcome. We ask for favors; God give us opportunities. So often we reject the very things God send to develop and strengthen us. – Author Unknown

We lose confidence in prayer also when we lose focus on what true prayer is all about! Prayer is as much about speaking to God as it is about listening. Like any conversation, a good one includes an exchange where both parties are seeking both to be understood and to understand. A successful prayer life doesn’t include one that simply involves petitions, lists of grievances, or even a laundry list of “needs.” Rather, a healthy prayer life includes one where you simply avail yourself in submission to God and His Supreme authority! A time where we await instructions as much as we seek God’s favor and intervention; A time of praise and thanksgiving; A time to simply connect with your Creator.

Take a few moments to reflect upon your prayer life and ensure it contains the essential two-way communication that is vital to the success of any thriving relationship – earthly and eternal!

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute.  One Minute Spiritual Sermonettes and Sermon Ideas  for Busy Christians, Pastors, Teachers, and Bible Students!  Visit our ABOUT PAGE  for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you.  Rev. RD Mangold

Settling Too Soon

Settling2And the land be subdued before the LORD: then afterward ye shall return, and be guiltless before the LORD, and before Israel; and this land shall be your possession before the LORD. 23But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out. 24Build you cities for your little ones, and folds for your sheep; and do that which hath proceeded out of your mouth. Numbers 32:22 – 24

The closer Israel got to The Promised Land, the more appealing the land looked, in fact Reuben and Gad decided they had found their place and wanted to settle before reaching their promised destination.

This infuriated Moses and the Lord. To settle too soon would mean the Israelites would be shorthanded in the last legs of their journey toward promise. Moses went as far as to say, “be sure, your sin will find you out!” Eventually Reuben and Gad agreed to continue to support their brethren in the conquest of Canaan.

God has great things in store for His people, but we must shake the urge to settle too soon. If we’re content with carnal, temporal, or earthly pleasures, and decide to forego God’s Eternal Promise, it is akin to sin, as Moses said, “be sure, it will find you out”. It will manifest in your lack of commitment, your earthly appetites and affections, your pursuits of wealth, worldly acclaim, and social acceptance.

Love not this world and all it affords – Jesus said He went away to prepare a place for you, and the greatest reward of all, won’t be the streets of gold, the walls of jasper, and the pearly gates, it is being in the presence of the Master for Eternity!

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute.  One Minute Spiritual Sermonettes and Sermon Ideas  for Busy Christians, Pastors, Teachers, and Bible Students!  Visit our ABOUT PAGE  for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you.  Rev. RD Mangold

The Thread of Resilience

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. I Peter 5:10

Throughout the rough course that is our life, there is a thread of resilience carefully woven into the fabric of our existence. Viewed in the right light, that is the light of God’s love and grace, that thread takes on a hue of compassion and tenderness. In the absence of God’s light, that very same thread of resilience exhibits bitterness and resentment.

Resilience is borne out of resistance, hardship, and even tragedy. Some of what we endure is brought on by our own selfishness, but other times we are being chastened, or corrected by the Lord. Hebrews 12:11 encourages us that, “Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Were it not for God’s loving, yet firm Hand, we would be as a fatherless child Hebrews tells us. In fact, God corrects those He loves. Were we left to our own devices, appetites, and affections, we would find ourselves miserable and lost. Knowing, that when God corrects us it builds resilience, should bring us peace of mind. Because God’s motive for correcting us is borne out of love, not some selfish desire to manipulate. God is ultimately cultivating us, if we allow Him, so that one day we can spend eternity with Him.

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute.  One Minute Spiritual Sermonettes and Sermon Ideas  for Busy Christians, Pastors, Teachers, and Bible Students!  Visit our ABOUT PAGE  for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you.  Rev. RD Mangold

Lot's Law of Unintended Consequences

Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. 12Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. 13But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly. Genesis 13:11 -13

Lot witnessed firsthand the blessings God showered on Abraham’s household. Just by virtue of the fact Lot accompanied Abraham he too lived a blessed life. When the blessings began to cause “strife,” Abraham released Lot to go in the direction of his choice. Given the chance, who wouldn’t have chosen the well-watered plains of Jordan?

The law of unintended consequences played heavily in Lot’s choice of the “greener pastures” of Jordan and cost him dearly. Despite his best efforts to positively affect his environment, Lot was the only righteous man in Sodom (2 Peter 2:7) and was spared, but tragically his family would never be the same. Lot’s rebellious wife became a pillar of salt. His sons-in-law were incinerated with the Sodomites. Finally, in a drunken stupor Lot’s incestuous relationship with his two daughters birthed the Moabites and the Ammonites who were wicked before the Lord and arch-enemies of Israel.

We may be tempted to make choices in the name of popularity, convenience, or financial security, but at what catastrophic cost? Choices made now can forever affect your descendants for generations to come. Weigh each choice against the backdrop of God’s perfect Will and direction for your life; not wowed by “greener pastures.”

“Unintended Consequences” Series – LINK

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute. A one minute spiritual pick-me-up for busy Christians!  Visit this POST for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you. Rodger Mangold

Digging Wells of the Past – Special Dedication

And Isaac dug again the wells of water, which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them. Genesis 26:18

The legacy we leave to our children is of utmost importance. A prime example was Abraham. Even God said, “I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment (Gen. 18:19).” Abraham’s legacy went beyond wealth and prestige, it instituted a perpetual generational blessing. Many times over God described Himself as the “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” What a testament to the integrity and longevity of Abraham’s dynasty!

As important however, was Isaac’s continuation of that dynasty. When the malevolent Philistines filled the wells Isaac dug with his father, Isaac never hesitated, he dug them again. Yes, water in Isaac’s day was paramount, but his purpose for unearthing those wells “ran much deeper.” You see, Isaac was a pivotal figure in the propagation of God’s purpose. He was the inescapable link between the past of his father Abraham, and the future of his son Jacob (later named Israel).

They may have just been wells to the Philistines, but they represented far more to Isaac. The wells represented a perpetuation of God’s blessings; flowing from the past in which they were promised, to the future in which they would come to fruition.

NOTE: This Serminute is dedicated to my grandson Gavin Rodger Mangold. Born April 21, 2011, weighing 9.15 lbs. and measuring 23″ long. Today Gavin will be dedicated at our church, Grace Apostolic Church of Clawson. May his father, Nathanael Rodger Mangold, continue to allow the flow of God’s perpetual blessings from my generation, to Gavin’s. I’ve carried this legacy as it was handed down to me by my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. To God be the glory!

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute. A one minute spiritual pick-me-up for busy Christians!  Visit this POST for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you. Rodger Mangold

Mountaintop Experiences – Moses' Right-hand Man Joshua

And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle. Exodus 33:11

With the seeming weight of the world on his shoulders, Moses made a plea for God to show him who would one day take the helm of the Israelite nation. But, standing in the shadows was a young man who had accompanied Moses up the mount, and when everyone was commanded to remain in their tents as Moses entered the tabernacle, tenacious Joshua “departed not.”

There are two angles; Moses’ and Joshua’s. Moses the visionary concerned with future leadership and Joshua capturing the vision of his leader calling him Moses’ servant and minister. While fulfilling the role of a servant or minister, we become privy to moments those who choose to remain on the peripheral seldom see.

Before Joshua defeated Jericho, before he commanded the sun to stand still, before triumphantly leading Israel to the Promised Land, he humbled himself and became Moses’ servant remaining in the background so discretely and humbly, it never even occurred to Moses’ when considering who his successor would be. A good servant doesn’t draw attention to himself; his focus is the mission for which he’s called. Joshua’s private service to Moses his mentor, led to public victories and accomplishments, not for his glory, but for the glory of God, and for the advancement of an entire nation.

Part of the Mountaintop Experiences Serminute Series

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute. A one minute spiritual pick-me-up for busy Christians!  Visit this POST for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you. Rodger Mangold