No Translation Required

no-translation-required.pngDating back as far as 1911 in the March 28th issue of the Syracuse Standard the cliché, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” was first used by the newspaper’s editor Tess Flanders. This fascinating cliché quite literally has stood the test of time. Regardless of the era in which it is used people understand its intent.

From incredibly creative works of art and sculpture, to cleverly captured photographs, millions have stood amazed and awed at an artist’s ability to portray a moment in time. Be it on the battlefield, in nature, or in everyday life, these pictures tell stories that defy the barriers of language, time, culture, or circumstance.

Rembrandt and Van Gogh were Dutch. Picasso was Spanish. Monet French. Da Vinci was Italian. Yet, when we view their works, we’re mystified by how much they transcend human language to tell stories through their works. Why is that? Some things don’t require translation.

Pictures taken from 9/11 tell the horrific story at times even better than eyewitness accounts, because sometimes a picture is indeed worth a thousand words.

Prior to the Vietnam War, the American public had spent the better part of a century insulated from the atrocities of combat, while soldiers witnessed first-hand the barbaric bloodshed. But the moment the public was provided with pictures and video of the horrors of war, their conscience was assaulted as they viewed the violence from the comfort of their living rooms.

Some things do not require a translation.

While these examples spell out stories of tragedy and hardship, there are other things in life we experience everyday that require no translation but have immediate and profound implications upon our lives and those with whom we interact.

Kindness, courtesy, compassion, mercy, and care seldom if ever require translation – they’re known as love in virtually an language.

A smile, a firm handshake, a warm embrace, eyes welled up with tears – no real translation necessary. With very few exceptions, we can all relate on some level to these feelings and moments. They speak to us in ways no human language ever could.

Now, I point you to a blood-soaked tree with the remnants of a brutally beaten and battered innocent man who was precariously nailed and pierced through, leaving a fountain of blood and water streaming out of his side splashing on the ground below; no translation required.

But three days later, a miracle of monumental and galactic proportions took place that defied description. A sight no one had ever witnessed before; This same man who had been carefully laid to rest had triumphantly risen from that grave by the resurrection power of God! An empty tomb where once the very much dead Christ laid? No translation required.

Peter attempts to describe a state of joy as “unspeakable,” defying description, a joy so profound and so powerful that the human language falls short every single time. This is what we can enjoy in the life of the Risen Savior Jesus Christ.

His unwavering love, His unending mercy, His boundless compassion toward His children? Mortal words fail us.

Whom having not seen, we love; in whom, though now we see him not, yet believing, we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: (1 Peter 1:8)

Some things not only do not require a translation. They defy description altogether.

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute.  One Minute Inspirational 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

Caged by an Open Door

CagedWe have a white Maltese-Bichon mix dog aptly named Casper. I say aptly named because while he’s white, and named after a ghost, he’s afraid of his own shadow. Whether this was brought on as a result of his early puppy-hood, prior to us owning him, or something just inherent to his demeanor, we’ll never really know. He refuses to give us a straight answer 😉

He suffers from a slight case of separation anxiety, for those who do not know what that is, it can be described as a state of anxiousness that your pet suffers during your absence. They can exhibit OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) behaviors like pacing back and forth around the door, barking incessantly, or they can go into a destructive tirade. I am not a dog expert by any stretch, but we know when a dog starts to tear stuff up when you’re gone that it is safer for him and your furniture if he’s safely and comfortably crated while we’re gone. There are some dog-lovers who will fault us for this, but it is a decision we didn’t take lightly. In fact, we occasionally leave him uncrated when we’re gone for short periods of time only to be reminded when we return why we decided to crate him.

He’s grown quite familiar with our routine. As of this post, Casper is 13 years old. We’ve had him since 2005. Back in 2012, he did something that blew our minds. Every Sunday we go through a ritual just before leaving for church. We’d tell him to go to his cage. He usually lets out an obligatory “huff” and goes straightaway. But, on occasion, he can tell when we’re about to leave for church and he will automatically head to his cage.

On this particular Sunday, we were in a hurry and must have forgotten to lock him up in his cage. When we returned home from church, we found him in his cage, barking and yelping like he always does when we get home, waiting for us to open his cage. When I reached down to unlatch it, I realized it had never been latched to begin with. He sat in his unlocked cage the entire time we were at church. We chuckled at his oversight, but something very profound dawned on me.

How many of us are caged by something that God never intended for us to be caged by? Have we grown used to the feeling of being trapped? Have we settled for that feeling of seclusion and isolation, when in fact, God has already set us free, we were just unwilling to step into the freedom that was already purchased for us at Calvary by Christ’s crucifixion?

We may laugh at silly Casper for remaining locked up when he could have been frolicking around the house wreaking havoc, but how many of us are content to remain caged up when just beyond that open door awaits our promise, our purpose, our potential?

What’s got you caged today? Fear, past failures, critics, insecurity, doubt, etc.? Christ has set you free my friend. Stop living captive to these debilitating figments of your imagination. Stop believing the toxic lies of the devil that’s telling you not to even try.

Come on, reach out, give it a shove, God’s already unlatched your door. Now step out into the future that He’s already prepared for you. Stop being caged by an open door!

Revelation 3:8, “I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.”

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute.  One Minute Inspirational 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

Our “Soul” Purpose

SoulPurposeThink about the number of people you know and interact with on a daily basis. Think about the sheer number of people in the cars as you sit in traffic. Think about that there are literally over 7 billion people on the planet and that number is growing every second. I believe by the Holy Ghost, that these are more than just flesh and blood people, these are souls. We can tend to use that term “souls” loosely, but it has a profoundly powerful impact if allow the weight of what’s at stake to sink in.

Jesus said in Matthew 16:26, “For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

The 17th Century Puritan Preacher, Thomas Watson said of this verse, “Every man carries a treasure about with him—a divine soul. And that this jewel should not be undervalued, our Savior here sets a price upon it. He lays the soul in balance with the whole world and, being put in the scales—the soul weighs heaviest.”

Some would argue the soul is of inestimable value, I would say that argument is flawed to some degree. The soul does have an estimable value and Jesus paid that price with His Blood. The God of Heaven robed Himself in flesh and suffered unthinkable pain and torture to ransom our sin-sick souls. And, because He paid that price, we have the promise of eternal life, as do all those who are washed in that Blood through baptism in His Name, and filled with His Holy Spirit.

So, before you’re too quick to lash out at that person in the parking lot for “stealing” your parking spot, or sarcastically dismiss the tirade of a disgruntled clerk, remember they’re more than just a person, beneath that thin veneer of flesh is a soul that will spend somewhere in eternity. You could be the only one standing between their decision to live for God or allow Satan to rule the day. Have compassion for them. Be an agent for healing rather than conflict. When you handle something of value, are you careless with it? Do you toss it around, mistreat it, or abuse it? Of course not! Souls are a treasure of great price.

Jesus views our soul as a treasure, as does the devil. The difference is, Jesus was willing to pay the price for that treasure. In his Gospel, John records the words of Christ in chapter 10, verse 10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

Praise be to God that He thought we were worth saving and redeeming. So much so, He left the splendor of Heaven to prove there’s more to us all than meets the eye – we have a soul. Remember, people matter deeply to God as does their soul, and they should matter deeply to us as well.

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute.  One Minute Inspirational 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

Mansion Depot

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Now days if we want to build something, anything, or at least try, we immediately head to our local home improvement store; Lowe’s, Home Depot, or my new favorite, Menard’s. But if you’re building an eternal mansion, where does one go to purchase the building supplies needed for such a monumental task?

Jesus said He went away to prepare a place for us (John 14). Even as you read this, preparations for your anticipated arrival are being made. Every attention to detail is feverishly being paid. What are the materials, the building supplies, the nails, brick, mortar, and accouterments needed for the preparation of such a magnificent “mansion?”

I submit, what if the substance of our mansions consisted of the prayers we’ve prayed, the tears we’ve cried, the burdens we’ve carried, and the lives we’ve touched? What if the royalty and splendor of our mansions were proportional to the amount of our humility, generosity, charity, and love in this present life?

If God used a rough-hewn cross, rusty nails, and a crumpled mess of thorns as the building supplies of our great salvation, how great a mansion He must be preparing for us using the seemingly menial things of this life? Paul stated in Romans 8:18, “…the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

What if the royalty and splendor of our mansions were proportional to our amount of humility, generosity, charity, and love in this present life?

And in 1 Corinthians 1:27 – 30, “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

And, Jesus warned His disciples in Matthew 6:19 – 21, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

What of your mansion? Are you providing our Master Builder, The Great Framer of the Universe, with the adequate supplies needed to finish your mansion, or have you chosen rather to lay up for yourself treasures here, that will fade, rust, and wither?

Love and prayers for your mansion on the other side to be greater than you could ever have imagined, because our God is able to do exceeding, abundantly, above all we could ask or think! Pastor Rodger Mangold

Photo credit goes to “Yours Truly.” We visited Buckingham Palace in September of 2005. Not too shabby a cottage if I do say so myself. As elegant and beautiful as that and Windsor Castle are, it will pale in comparison to the place God has prepared for those that love Him, and provide Him with suitable building materials!

How Badly Does God Hate Sin?

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. (Passage Link: Romans 12:19)

For Christians perhaps one of the most difficult things to reconcile with non-believers is God’s heavy hand of judgment which is so graphically displayed throughout the Old Testament. After all, just by virtue of HIS definition, God stated in Malachi 3:6, “I am the LORD, I change not.” Even in the New Testament James 1:17 describes God as, “the Father of lights in whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

Historically God has used different means and methods for dealing with humanity, but be it known God’s loathing and intolerance of Sin will never change. It is after all the element that set in motion the separation from HIS Creation. And since its inception, God, has worked toward eradicating both Sin and its effects, reconciling the world unto Himself. If you ever for one moment wonder how God feels about Sin, read the accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John detailing the brutality with which Christ was crucified; beating, scourging, bloodshed, nails piercing His hands and feet, the Crown of Thorns, and the splintered and rough-sawn cross on which Christ hanged!

God took vengeance upon Sin and its source that fateful day at Calvary. No slap on the wrist, no probation, no parole, no warning, God with extreme prejudice took “away the sin of the world” by the sinless, blameless blood of His only begotten Son Jesus!

How badly does God hate sin? God hates sin as much as He loves you and me; He went to the extreme of robing Himself in flesh and laying down His life for His friends, repaying the debt He did NOT owe (Passage Link: John 15:12-14).

“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

A Savior Between Two "Thieves"

Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. Matthew 27:38

The account of Christ’s crucifixion never gives the identities of the two thieves or malefactors, but it dawned on me, the position of Christ between them has significance on several levels. It brings to mind an Old Testament showdown of Elijah and the 450 prophets of Baal.

In I Kings 18:21 Elijah issues a challenge to Israel, “How long halt ye between two opinions? If the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.”

It occurred to me, people who have yet to be fully convinced of Christ’s redemptive work at Calvary find themselves in a similar quandary, almost persuaded (Acts 26:28) allowing their opinions to become the thieves of their salvation, with our Dear Savior hanging in the middle!

The two thieves surrounding Christ may not have had names in the Gospels, but in today’s message they do. For some they could be…

  • Pride and Arrogance
  • Greed and Power
  • Complacency and Apathy

Friend, how long will YOU stall in your valley of decision (Joel 3:14) to live for Christ? Will you continue to allow thieves to distract and rob you of choosing the blessed Savior hanging between them?

“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 Lamb's Progression of Power

Throughout scripture the lamb has seen a progression of power becoming a central figure in the cleansing, redemption, and even protection of God’s people. Consider the following passages…

Lamb for a Man

Genesis 4:4 “And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering…”

Lamb for a Family

Exodus 12:21 “Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover.”

Lamb for a Nation

Exodus 49:21  And the other lamb thou shalt offer at even, and shalt do thereto according to the meat offering of the morning, and according to the drink offering thereof, for a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 42This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD: where I will meet you, to speak there unto thee.”

Lamb for the World

John 1:29 “The next day John saw Jesus coming unto him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

I Peter 1:18 – 20 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.”

The Lamb is no longer a meek and timid creature which silently succumbs to an innocent death – rather Christ is as Revelation 5:11 reveals, “And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.”

NOTE: A short word about the above remarks – This topic was derived from my Pastor, Stephen Trachsel, Sr. If some or all of this has been preached elsewhere I make no claims as to being the originator. If after reading this you know its true source please comment and I will ensure the author gets the proper credit.  Lastly, this post does exceed my 200 word limitation, the exception being it does so with scripture rather than my own words.

“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