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

PTFD – Post Traumatic Faith Disruption

PTFDIt’s one of the saddest stories in the life of Christ. He was informed of the imminent passing of his dear friend Lazarus, yet Christ does not run to his sick friend’s rescue. He doesn’t even so much as offer a comforting word, or a “remote” miracle as He had been known to do. In fact, Christ delayed His arrival by 2 days.

When He finally arrived, it wasn’t to a sick bed, it was to a funeral. Lazarus had been dead for three days. Jesus is grimly greeted by Martha who was filled with contention and confusion and stated, “Lord, if you had just been here.” Mary comes out with what must have been disappointment written all over her face. It was then that He could no longer hold back the tears; Jesus wept. This seemingly tragic story in John Chapter 11 vividly demonstrates how many of must feel when we don’t get the answer we expect from God.

I call this PTFD – Post Traumatic Faith Disruption. We’re often hit with it when we face insurmountable odds from a human perspective, or when we’ve been seemingly “let down” by God because we didn’t get the outcome we believed Him for. It can just plain be hard to have faith when we face similar circumstances in our future. We recoil. We brace ourselves for disappointment. We expect the best but prepare for the worst. Thus PTFD.

PTFD or Post Traumatic Faith Disruption is not a formal diagnosis and is not meant to diminish in any way those who suffer from PTSD, but there are times we can spiritually find ourselves reeling from the effects of PTFD especially after our faith seems to have been in vain.

God always has a plan. You may have heard this a time or two during your own personal struggle, but NOTHING surprises God. Not only is IMPOSSIBLE not in God’s vocabulary, the exclamation “OOPS!” isn’t either. Ironically, the very thing the enemy thinks will destroy our faith, ultimately God uses to increase it.

Remember this, God never wastes pain that’s been entrusted to Him. God’s undivided attention during our lowest points of life is the most powerful treatment for PTFD as He’s nearest those of a broken heart. Choose to hang on to your faith even when there’s evidence to the contrary. For we walk by faith, not by sight. 

We all struggle with doubt once in a while, but there’s one thing you must never doubt; God’s crazy love for you. Don’t read into His delay as complete denial. After all, Christ’s delay to come to Lazarus’ aid resulted in one of His greatest earthly miracles ever; a triumphant resurrection which increased the faith of all that were present that day.

“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

“Calling” All Bricklayers

CallingBricklayersThis following fable could be considered a modern day parable of sorts. I’ve attempted to source it to no avail. Many in modern self-help and inspirational circles have picked it up, and for good reason. Your perspective on what you do, and for that matter, how you view what you do, makes all of the difference as you pursue your purpose in life, and with what, if any passion you pursue that purpose.

I will attempt to tell it as best as possible while maintaining what I believe to be its original intent…

A inquisitive local business owner couldn’t help but take notice of the new grand edifice that was being built across the street from his humble bakery. The building began to take shape, and it was evident that something beautiful was being erected. One day he mustered the courage to visit the job site and asked one of the busy masons what he was doing.

Almost exasperated, he bluntly stated, “I’m a bricklayer.”

In similar fashion, the persistent baker hoping for a little more detail, asked a second mason, “What are you doing?” To which this bricklayer a little more enthusiastically replied, “I’m building a church.”

Lastly, having had most of his curiosity satisfied, the baker asked the third bricklayer nearby, the same question, but was amazed at the answer he received. The mason’s eyes lit up with life, and his tone took on a hushed and humble reverence, “I’m building the house of God.”

It’s been said the first bricklayer considered what he did for a living, a job, the second, a career. While the third viewed what he did as a calling.

You can look at what you do daily as simply a job or a career path, but what if you began to view your work as a tribute to the One who gifted you with that ability or talent?

The ESV (English Standard Version) Bible translates the words of Paul to the Colossians regarding work, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (3:23-24)

You may think it’s just a spreadsheet. You may feel like they’re just another annoying customer. You may feel this is just another sick patient. You may think it’s just another meal, service, or construction project. But, what if we started to view what we do as work for the Lord, and for the Glory of God? What if we started to view what we do as less of a job or a career, and more of a calling?

We may feel like because we can’t teach like Christ, preach like Paul, or sing like an angel that we have little to contribute to the Kingdom of God. You’d be wrong my friend. We need more architects to view what they do as a higher calling. We need more attorneys to view what they do with passion. We need more designers, more creatives, more writers, more mechanics, construction workers, IT professionals, and members of the medical community to transition from simply a job to being in hot pursuit of your true calling and purpose.

I challenge you today to begin to take an entirely different view of what you do, and live with intention. Seek to Do what you do as unto God, not unto men, not for accolades, not for a paycheck or a pension. Because you know you were created for more than just to live out the day-to-day grind.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.Colossians 3:17

“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

Breakthrough in Our Brokeness

BreatkthroughBrokenessAn incredible thing happened this summer (2018). After years of pain and suffering, my mother went in for complete reconstructive back surgery to correct a poorly performed procedure she had in 2010. Her doctor, Richard Easton, from Troy Beaumont in Rochester Hills, MI was kind enough to take on her case and what he did was nothing short of a miracle. When he came to deliver the news of what a great success her surgery was, even he was noticeably excited about the outcome. When he described the operation, I was fascinated by what I heard.

First, Dr. Easton removed the faulty hardware that caused so much pain to her nearly destroying her nerves and inhibiting her overall ability to stand, walk, and even live.

Some of my medical jargon may be a little off here, but once Dr. Easton removed the hardware, he replaced parts of her destroyed back with a portion of her own pelvic bone. Additionally, he used her stem cells and pieces of her arthritis, coupled with a medical poultice that cost $6000/half-ounce. Using a modern pestle and mortar, he ground it all together (crushed it) and used that mixture to repair her back. This not only would provide immediate healing, but it created the foundation for her back to regenerate.

In any other setting this could have been viewed as a brutal and heartless process:
• Removing the old structure
• Breaking off pieces of her pelvic bone
• Using arthritis, a known enemy of our joints
• And a special compound that was very costly

But, only after the cutting, after the breaking, after the crushing, could the healing and regeneration take place. It’s vitally important to note here that Dr. Easton did this FOR her, not TO her.

There’s are striking similarities between what Dr. Easton did for my mom and what God can do with our brokenness. When God seemingly cuts us down to size, removes our old faulty hardware and structure, we then embark upon what feels like a breaking and a crushing. The old things are passed away…

Using bits of what we had that were good, and even incorporating bits of the old (arthritis), He adds a special and costly compound; the Blood of Christ to heal and regenerate us.

My mom was barely able to function due to the pain she was enduring, it wasn’t until after the breaking and crushing that she found deliverance from that pain.

My question today is, how many of us are so used to debilitating effects of our pain and anguish, believing this is all there is? We have a loving Savior already “scrubbed up” patiently waiting in the wings, ready, willing, and able to turn our pain into power, our sorrow into joy, and our anguish into complete healing.

It may not always feel like it or look like it, but never judge what God is doing in your life, or anyone else’s for that matter, until the process is complete. There’s healing in the crushing, and a breakthrough in our brokenness if we entrust it into the Hands of the Master Surgeon.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (Psalm 51:17)

 

“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.  Rev. RD Mangold

Your Dirty Little Secret

DLS

I have some startling news about your dirty little secret – Yes, it’s dirty, but it’s not little and it’s not a secret. We can tend to think that just because the masses don’t know about our hidden sin, addiction, or affair, that we’ll never be discovered. What a delusion when we fall for that deception. Our lives may not immediately be an open book to those around us, but there’s ONE who sees our every move and knows our every intent.

Hebrews 4:12 describes the Word of God as, “quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

See, we may think we’re getting away with something, but we’re not because in another portion of Solomon’s own unheeded wisdom, Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. (Ecc. 8:11)

Our confession will not be new information to God for He knows the secrets of the heart.

Rather than trying to hide from God and foolishly cover our sins like Adam and Eve, Christ’s redemptive work at Calvary has enabled us to run to God with our failures and our sin. While it is far more admirable to resist sin altogether, it is even more vital if we have sinned, not to cover it up. Like King David, we must lay it bear before a merciful and loving Savior. 1 John 1:9 intreats us, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Our confession will not be new information to God for He knows the secrets of the heart. Our confession is more of a humble admission and a revealing to God that we know nothing can be hidden from Him, and that only He can truly provide us with the overcoming power we require to beat that sin and never fall prey to it again.

Let’s stop fooling ourselves by living in the false illusion that God doesn’t see what we’re up against. The sooner we admit our sin is bigger than we can handle on our own, the sooner God’s grace and mercy can come to our rescue.

“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.  Rev. RD Mangold

A Site for Sore Eyes – Serminutes.com

SerminutesCover_NEWDespite this being a blog devoted to one-minute devotionals, sermonettes, and sermon ideas, occasionally we have to take a minute to share updates with you about, well, our Serminutes.

At the inception of this blog, we lost the website serminutes.com but recently, through some kind of Divine intervention I was able to wrestle the site name back and use it for the original purposes of this blog. Now when you search for Serminutes our web address will be http://www.serminutes.com – Our old site name, http://www.sermonminute.com will work for a while too.

So, if you’re struggling, in need of a quick Christian “pick-me-up,” or are coming up short on an idea to preach this Sunday, Serminutes is a site for sore eyes and writer’s block.

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Thanks for being a loyal reader, and if this is your first post, please feel free to browse the Serminutes Vault for tons of great inspiration.

God bless you and thank you for your support in the way of reading, commenting, and sharing these with those who may need it along life’s sometimes wearisome journey.

RDM