To Bee or Not to Be

ToBeeThey may be an irritant at your local cider mill or picnic, but they’re a very busy creature. A small percentage of us are dangerously allergic to their sting, and when they swarm, they can be a vicious bunch, but the reason honeybees are so busy, is because they’re responsible for the essential pollination of some of our most vital food sources including fruits and vegetables. But, not just food is in danger, plants and flowers are as well.

Recently published reports from the EPA, Science Direct and ABC.net indicate that while there may be improvements in certain aspects of the bee population, we are still not out of the woods, or in our case, plants, yet. This news is staggering as it points to the potential endangerment of our food sources, and those who are responsible for ensuring the longevity of those food sources.

One such reason for the endangerment of bees is a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD. This can be explained as a bee colony that has an inability to continue to grow or thrive. The EPA website characterizes CCD as the following:

  • Sudden loss of a colony’s worker bee population with very few dead bees found near the colony.
  • The queen and brood (young) remained, and the colonies had relatively abundant honey and pollen reserves.

And, here’s what really stung as the report continued, “But hives cannot sustain themselves without worker bees and would eventually die. This combination of events resulting in the loss of a bee colony has been called Colony Collapse Disorder.”

Could it be that we are seeing a similar disorder in our modern churches? An inability to sustain themselves without worker bees? These colonies had relatively abundant honey and pollen reserves, yet the colony lacked workers.

Your local Christian Colony, a.k.a. your local church and even our global mission to “Go ye into all the world” could potentially be suffering from not “Colony Collapse Disorder” but “Church Collapse Disorder” because of the lack of laborers, or worker bees. There’s an abundance of God’s anointing, blessings, and power. The Hive, that is the church, is not lacking in love, prayer, and vision, but where she IS lacking is in workers to carry out that vision and mission.

There are a variety of theories “buzzing” around as to why these colonies are in decline as follows:

  • Environmental (adverse culture)
  • Increased use of pesticides (destruction of Christian values and principles).
  • Diminishing habitats (churches being planted, people answering the call, and a post-modern world opposed to godliness)
  • Humanity encroaching on their areas where bees breed (an inability to reproduce)

May we as a church, or colony, never neglect to pray as Christ commanded, “for laborers” i.e. workers to be sent forth into the harvest to pollinate this world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ effectively ending the “sting of Death!” May we be “busy” about our Father’s Business, and, may external influences never encroach on the Church’s ability to grow, thrive, and keep the colony and mission moving forward till Jesus comes!

“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

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

Coffeemakers vs. Coffee Drinkers

cmvscd (1)In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) John 7:37-39

There’s something almost intoxicating about entering Starbucks. Freshly brewed coffee, espressos, and the sounds of the froth machine; Starbucks isn’t selling just a cup of coffee, their selling an experience! Their baristas may enjoy the beverages they make, but they set aside their enjoyment to cater to the customer. Their service is “coffee making” not “coffee drinking.”

It’s time for us to take our evangelism efforts to the next level. We must move beyond the level of coming into our churches and enjoying a great move of the Holy Ghost. We have to be about our “Father’s Business!” He’s in the “winning souls business!”

When someone comes into our churches there needs to be an atmosphere so powerful and intoxicating the sinner can’t help but want a drink of what we have.

  • They may not know what to order
  • They may not know the lingo
  • All they know is they want a hot fresh cup of something and God’s got it all prepared for them…we need Holy Ghost filled “Baristas” to be passionate for the hurting and hungry souls of mankind!

There’s nothing wrong with coming to the house of God and enjoying a good dose of the Holy Ghost, but we need some folks that aren’t just Coffee Drinkers…We need some Coffeemakers too!

“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

What if Church…

…was not about me?

Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4

What if…

Instead of going to be encouraged…we went to encourage others…

Instead of hoping to sing my favorite song…we hoped to sing “their” favorite song…

Instead of looking to be served…we intentionally served others…

Instead of waiting to be welcomed…we welcomed others first…

Instead of asking to be prayed for…if we sought to pray for others…

Instead of going to receive a blessing…we went to be a blessing…

What difference would it make in our church experience?

Of course, church is ultimately not about either of us…it’s about Jesus…

But, church is also where people who want to make much of Jesus gather to grow, fellowship and worship Jesus…

So, I wonder how our church experience would be made different, if we approached it considering the interest of others…

Just wondering…

Special thanks to  Pastor Ron Edmondson for allowing me to re-post this article

For more by Pastor Ron Edmundson visit www.ronedmondson.com

“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

Fixated on the Quick Fix

A “Quick Fix” is any activity, even if legitimate, that avoids a real solution to a problem or challenge; always looking for the easy way out.  We don’t want to face the hard work associated with learning or gaining experience from facing challenges and dealing with dilemmas. After all, that would take real courage, and who has time for that?

Quick fixes come in many shapes and sizes. There are the scams for getting rich, losing weight, gaining strength, and saving time and money. Ironically, we spend millions each year for quick fixes, and were we able to calculate these figures, one could suggest, we may be spending more on quick fixes than actual solutions? In other words, do we spend more on Band-aids than we do on the cure?

Spiritually, quick fixes lead to counterfeit Christianity – Christian “characteristics” vs. the Christ-like Character. We feebly imitate something we cannot duplicate. Growth, integrity, and experience with God are constants. There is no substitute for any of these elements. You can’t buy them or bypass them. Inevitably, we must all measure up to the Gold Standard – God’s Word. There is no shortcut…anything short of the proper way; Jesus said is a “thief and a robber.” John 10:1

“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

Disposed to Dispose

For there is no respect of persons with God. Romans 2:11

We live in a disposable society. We eat off of paper plates, drink out of plastic cups and use throw away napkins. We shave with disposable razors, take pictures with throw-away cameras, clean our houses and baby’s backsides with disposable wipes and we even have what the accountants call, “disposable income!”

Dare I say, this “throw-away” mentality can even creep into our spiritual walk…

  • We swap churches and faiths like name brands
  • We wait until we’re in a good mood to praise God
  • We don’t like this sermon, so we’ll wait for the next one

 This disposable mentality can have us even feeling that way about people…

  • We avoid praying with people because the look “different”
  • We only share Christ with the “normal” people
  • We only help others when it benefits us

God’s commandments are not based on OUR “personal preferences!” We are to be lead by God’s Love and Mercy! God’s Kingdom is eternal, comprised of the souls of humanity. Don’t cast aside opportunities to share God’s unmerited grace and unfailing love with everyone…not just those we “deem” worthy. No soul is disposable to God – He gave His only begotten Son to save us ALL!

“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 – Must Be Present to Win

And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them. Exodus 24:12

This may sound counterintuitive if you’re looking for motivation to “do” something for God, but there are times God doesn’t want us do anything…just “be there.” One of the most difficult things for us to master is the art standing still and letting God be God; yielding full control to Him – we must decrease in order for God to increase! This is not an excuse to sit around and do nothing; rather it’s an admonishment to know when to wait on the Lord!

God called Moses up to the mount, not “do” or “give,” something, but to receive. In order to receive we must be present with no pretense. God wanted to “give” Moses the commandments so he could in turn “teach” or “give” the Israelites the benefit of God’s covenant and commandments.

In our busy fast-paced world, our challenge is simply to “be there.” We’re bombarded with phone calls, voicemail, email, and texts, which often distract us from being “present” in very important situations, not the least of which are times when our family, or more importantly, God is trying to get our attention! Like the old adage says when it comes to drawings…you must be present to win!

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