Portland Protesters, PLEASE Beware!

Portland, Oregon has (in recent history) had a very active army of protesters. Their purposes and messages are usually distorted by their chaotic antics, and at times are outright incoherent.

Anarchists and mobsters usually join the public foray, instigating the unlawful destruction of property and creating dangerous situations for well meaning and law abiding protesters, business owners and employees, and police and emergency personnel.

PROTESTERS, PLEASE BEWARE!

I do NOT want the following tragedies to transpire, however will you hear the following warning?

Please, beware of the possible outcomes of your actions. You are entering an atmosphere in our community when playing with fire just might end up burning you. I do NOT want these things to happen, so please do not erroneously interpret my warning as a threat, or a wish list, or a veiled call for people to revolt against the revolters.

So far, your demonstrations and associated actions have been mostly tolerated by the general public. However, the toleration of SOME citizens is wearing very thin, and they themselves are on the borderline of becoming criminal in their reactions to you. Your destruction of property, your blocking of roads, and even your in-your-face screaming at non-protesters may be met with deadly force.

The next few roads and freeways that you block as a mob tactic, there may be one or two drivers who might genuinely feel their own lives are endangered enough by the surrounding mod to prompt them to plow right through your arm-in-arm road blocks. You may be hurt, maimed, or even killed!

Even if you are convinced in your own mind that you would “never hurt anyone,” your actions are communicating a very different message. Other citizens do not have the privilege of reading your mind and knowing your heart; all they are able to do is look at the mob that is surrounding them with signs on wooden 2×4’s, facial expressions of anger, voices that are loud and incoherent when raised with 100 other voices at the same time, and seeing reports of buildings and vehicles being destroyed.

If you feel the need to demonstrate and protest, then do so with intelligence and common sense, not with mob-sense. If you feel you need to lay your life on the line in order to take a stand, then give your life daily to the productive service of your community and your country. If you insist on using the mob-tactic to announce your message incoherently, don’t be surprised when your friend who is arm-in-arm with you gets run over by a car.

Protesters, please… BE SAFE, and police yourselves. If anarchists hijack your demonstration, find the police and point them toward those who are creating trouble. If the mob gets out of hand, leave! Better to live another day. If your friend gets crazy, be the calming influence for them. You just might save their life!

#PastorsTip

“How’s Your Daily Devotional Life?”

Sometimes the Holy Spirit prompts us (as Pastors, or Leaders) to offer the simplest of solutions for people’s greatest life-challenges, instead of inspiring us with His deep and sometimes mysterious counsels of divine wisdom.

There is a young man who experienced the Spirit’s simplest of strategies for overcoming life’s most complex dilemmas.

When I was pastoring we sometimes had an open mic segment in a Sunday Evening service where people could share a testimony with the whole church. This one young man shared how he came into the office one day to see me. His emotional and mental life was in a shambles, so he was asking for help.

After hearing his long list of difficulties in dealing with daily life, I asked him simply,

“How are your daily times of devotions? Some prayer, some Bible reading?”

He shared with the church how, at that moment, he thought to himself “That’s it? That’s ALL you’ve got to offer me?” And though we did talk at length about details of his life, he didn’t remember any of that (all of my great, deep counsel was lost on him!). All he could remember after our time together was, “How are your daily devotions?”

He openly admitted that he was very flustered and was not impressed. He expected something more profound and really deep for handling his overpowering daily life’s issues.

Nonetheless, he started daily devotions. Thirty days later he realized that his daily life’s issues were calm, his emotions were at peace, and his mind was settled. His love for the Lord was renewed, and he was enjoying life.

As he continued to share his testimony, he said, “So, if you expect Pastor Dave to counsel you out of your grave with a bunch of deep, dramatic stuff; but all you get out of him is, ‘How’s your devotional life?’, you need to listen to him, and you need to do it! It has saved my life!

So, my conclusion about practicing a Daily Devotional Life is:

If life hurts when you don’t do it, then just do it!

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#PastorsTip #Devotions #DailyDevotions #Bible #BibleReading #Prayer #DailyPrayer #LifeIssues #Peace #Joy #Calm

When Jesus Sleeps…

Do you feel like you are being hit by one of the biggest storms of your life, and Jesus just seems to have fallen asleep? The disciples experienced that very same thing!

“As they sailed, He fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke Him, saying, ‘Master, Master, we’re going to drown!’

He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. ‘Where is your faith?’ He asked his disciples.

In fear and amazement they asked one another, ‘Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him.’”‭‭

( Luke‬ ‭8:23-25‬ )

That day Jesus wasn’t being negligent, or too tired to bother with paying attention. Instead, He was sleeping because He already had everything under control — including the winds and the waves! In this particular case, in order to demonstrate to the disciples that He had the storm under control while it raged, He calmed the storm so the disciples could see the fact of His omnipotence in the elements.

Likewise, in your life-sized storm Jesus may seem to be asleep, and maybe He is (in a sense of the word). However, He is not being negligent or distracted by another situation in the world. In the midst of your raging storm, Jesus has it all under control.

Let Him demonstrate His power in any number of ways, one of which is to have you go through the storm safely while on your way to your next destination.

Storms make for wild rides. When we know Jesus is with us in our boat, somehow the fear disappears [like it did for the disciples when their storm was calmed], while we ride out the storm.

Either way, Jesus is the Commander of our Storms of Life.

No Fear!

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#PastorsTip