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

Tackling Murphy

Murphy

Football Coach Gus Bradley, defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Chargers trains his team to face who he calls, Murphy?

Who’s Murphy? We all know Murphy, don’t we?

We’re in the middle of those difficult and time-consuming projects and this character out of nowhere shows up unannounced and uninvited. His name is Murphy. This cat is so famous, they even named a law after him, called Murphy’s Law.

The definition of Murphy’s Law states: Anything that can go wrong, WILL go wrong!

Gus Bradley trains the LA Chargers to expect Murphy to show up, and show up at the least opportune time – bad weather, flight delay, traffic, any unexpected event that could potentially throw you off your game.

WHEN Murphy shows up, not IF, the team tackles him head on! They don’t wait for him to make the first move, they anticipate him, they prepare for him. Instead of being afraid of Murphy, they choose to engage, face him down, and dismantle him before he even steps out onto the field.

We often refer to the Murphy’s Law when something doesn’t work out. We blame Murphy for a lot of things, but what if we could actually put Murphy to work for us? What if we translated everything Murphy did TO US, as what Murphy does FOR US?

Edwin McManus said, “Greatness is never born from easy circumstances.”

We don’t create a good life, good circumstances, or success from the outside-in, we do so from the inside-out.

Allow me to frame this another way, when it comes to our enemy the devil, it’s not a matter of IF he’ll show up, it’s a matter of WHEN! Like the LA Chargers, we don’t wait for Satan to make the first move, we anticipate him, we prepare for him.

Peter said it this way, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 ESV)

Instead of being afraid of Satan, we choose to be on guard, to engage, face him down, dismantle him before he even gets a chance to step out onto the field!

Just like old Murphy gets the blame for a lot of things, Satan does too. But what if instead of blaming Satan for everything wrong that’s ever happened, we actually started making the devil work FOR US?

Peter goes on to say in verse 9, “Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” (ESV)

In the realm of fitness, resistance equals strength training. What the devil means for bad, God helps us translate into strength and overcoming power! Satan thinks he’s doing this TO us, but in actuality, he’s doing it FOR us!

Joseph was wrongfully sold into slavery by his conniving brothers but through the faithfulness of God, and Joseph’s trust in the dreams God placed in his heart, he eventually became an emperor in Egypt. Listen to how Joseph processed his pain, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” (Genesis 50:20 ESV)

Don’t be shocked when Satan shows up. He was one of the first uninvited guests to the Garden of Eden. Again, uninvited in the book of Job with the Sons of God. And, he had the nerve to show up in the wilderness after Jesus’ 40-day fast. You can most certainly anticipate he will rear his ugly head in your life as well. Be ready for him. Tackle him when he shows up. It’s often an indication strength and power are destined for your immediate future.

“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

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

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

Clutter-free Breeding Ground of Thought

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; I Peter 1:13

We’re each a culmination of our experiences; some good; other’s not so good. Toting enough of this baggage around with us creates clutter and often impedes our ability to maintain healthy relationships. The exchange for discarding this clutter, be it a broken heart, misplaced trust, harbored resentment, or traitorous betrayal, takes place in our minds.

Is it any wonder that we’re taught by Peter to “gird up the loins of our mind?” The loins are the reproductive center of the human anatomy. So, stated another way, shore up the breeding ground of your thoughts or mind. We are products of what our mind “reproduces” on a regular basis. Fortify your thoughts like the Philippians, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (4:8).

The battlefield for many of us is waged in the mind. Negativity breeds negativity, but the benefits of thinking on truth, honesty, purity, love, etc. brings with it a mind clear of baggage and clutter, where seeds of faith, hope, and love can flourish.

“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 – It is Good for us to be Here

And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. 4Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 5While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. Matthew 17:3-5

Another gospel says Peter was “afraid” and wasn’t quite sure what to say at the sight of Jesus’ transfiguration, and watching Him converse with Moses and Elijah! I feel, if you want to get the best read on someone, see how they respond under duress. With no time to prefabricate a fitting response, you just say the first thing that comes to mind. Peter’s response was, “It is good for us to be here…something needs to be done here to commemorate this momentous occasion…let’s pitch a few tabernacles or tents!” Seems a bit strange, but consider Peter witnessed a once in a millennia event!

Recognizing it was good for them to be there and the fact Peter wanted to make tabernacles is significant. Tabernacles are temporary by nature. Peter knew the experience was one to cherish and enjoy, but not one which was meant to be permanent. We relish moments of power, revelation, and anointing, but they’re not meant to be a permanent position – mountaintop experiences are transient; they’re mingled with valleys, desserts, and wilderness. Each station is of value, yet temporary nonetheless. Lastly, wherever you’re at, as long as Jesus is with you, you’re in the right place at the right time!

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

"Digging" God's Word – The Archaeology of Your Heart

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. I Peter 1:23

Every year the nation of Israel is credited with literally thousands of archaeological discoveries, and even with ongoing instability in the Middle East slowing archaeological endeavors somewhat, the Bible’s reliability as a historical document continues to be confirmed by the field of archaeology every day. Dr. Nelson Glueck, probably the greatest modern authority on Israeli archaeology, said, “No archeological discovery has ever controverted a single biblical reference.”

Hypothetically, if an archaeologist were to do some digging in your “spiritual” life what would his findings be? Would proof of God’s Holy Word be irrefutable? Would the evidence be so compelling, even the harshest critic would concede?

Every detail of a believer’s life is scrutinized by critics – ready to pounce on any proof there’s nothing to what you believe.

Still others are hoping and praying what you say is true, and what you’re living is real…they want it to be true; they need it to be true!

Why are they so desperately hoping the Bible you represent is real? Because this world needs HOPE!

Today dear Christian, why not be living proof God’s Word still changes lives, saves souls, and is the key to eternal life? Like the Apostle Paul called the Corinthians, let’s be ”epistles…known and read of all men.”

“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