Saw that Wood

I was glad when my dad moved me to the position of wood cutter. During the winter we would sell fire wood. These were the days before most people had gas heaters. Our customers heated their homes by wood heaters. We would get the left-over slab wood from saw mills. This slab wood was then sawed into smaller pieces as fire wood.

I was the one who operated the saw. It was a circular saw with a 3 foot diameter. It set on an iron frame with four wheels which made the entire unit moveable. This enabled us to move the saw throughout the wood yard. The saw turned at a high rate of speed. This was done by a belt attached to a small engine and the saw. It was my job to force the wood through the turning saw. The cut wood was then loaded onto a pick-up truck and delivered to a waiting customer.

I grew with the business. I learned from the ground up. I watched all that had to be done to get the wood from the saw mill to the heater of the customer. I later would deliver the wood to the customer. I would go with my dad to collect the money owed to him.

This was a small business but in order for us to make a living someone had to give leadership to it.

The leader of this business was my daddy. He knew everyone’s job. He knew how each was to be done. He hired and fired. He did not put up with people who did not want to work. You were not late to your job but once. He made sure the deliveries were made. He did what needed to be done for success.

I learned every business needed a leader, even a small one.

My dad was the LEADER and everyone knew it. It is required first and foremost of a leader TO LEAD.

This truth was major for me as a future leader. I learned how to lead by watching my dad.

Later I read these encouraging words, “In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” (Rom. 12:6-8)

My dad lead and I did my best to follow his example as a leader.

Thanks for Reading,

Brother Walt

When To Sing

“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.” (James 5:13)

The people of God have always been a “Singing People”. I celebrated my spiritual birthday a few weeks ago. When I look back one thing really stands out. The night I got saved I was filled with praise and joy. I was not one to do a lot of singing but God put a new song in my heart. I have been singing since.

Do you sing? When do you sing? When should you sing? The answer is, “I sing because I am happy, I sing because I am free.” James tells us to sing when we are happy. Yes, we will find ourselves in situations which make us happy. Do not feel guilty. Get with the program, sing and praise the Lord when you have happy days.

Israel’s greatest warrior King was also a song writer, King David. Our culture has a difficult time with a warrior being a singer. Our tough guys are more like Dirty Harry. I have a tough time seeing Dirty Harry writing and singing songs.

God’s Greatest Warrior gave us a large number of songs. We have the entire book of Psalms much written by King David.

It should be expected for the Book of Songs to end with PRAISE, “Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.” (Psalm 150:1-6)

Do I only sing when I am happy? Do my circumstances have to be right for me to sing? No, we sing because we are followers of Christ.

Do the people sing where you attend church? My guess is they do.

It is what we do at church.It is one way in which we worship the God we love.

However, James is not talking about our singing at church. He is talking about singing when you are happy no matter where you are.

How about you, are you singing?

If you are happy you should be. If not you should be praying.

Thanks for Reading,

Brother Walt

When to Pray

“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.” (Jas. 5”13)

I attended a prayer meeting several years ago where we sang “Sweet Hour of Prayer”. The person in charge took the next 55 minutes informing us why we should pray. I timed us. We spent a total of two and half minutes in prayer.

Would you agree we all should pray more?

Have you ever felt guilty going to God in prayer when you were in trouble? I have. Why? I really don’t know. Maybe I thought God would be mad at me.

I was really glad to read our word for today. James tells us to go to God when we are in trouble. He does not make a judgment call. He says run to God when you are in a fix. Go to God when you are between the rock and the hard place.
You find yourself in a place you can’t get out of; Now what?

PRAY WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT: DROP TO YOUR KNEES AND PRAY!!!!

If you are a follower of the Lord Jesus——YOU’VE BEEN THERE!!!!

If you are a follower of the Lord Jesus——YOU’LL BE THERE AGAIN!!!!

The good news is God expects us, invites us, even commands us to PRAY WHEN IN TROUBLE. When you hear yourself say, “I don’t know what to do” remember James tells you exactly what to do, PRAY.

I have some more good news when you do not know what to pray YOU HAVE HELP!

God knew we would face situations so confusing, so heart-breaking, and so tragic that He provided the HELPER.

We read, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” (Rom. 8:26-27)

Notice we do not know BUT the Spirit of God does. He knows exactly what and how to pray to God for us.

You have experienced this; you were on your knees no words came but you knew you were praying. The Spirit moved deep within your spirit. You could not say a word but YOU CONNECTED WITH GOD.

The Spirit of God told your heavenly Father exactly what you needed. He prayed according to the will of God for you.

When do we pray? We pray when we find ourselves in trouble.

SO PRAY!!!!

Thanks for Reading,
Brother Walt

“I Swear”

“Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned” (Jas.5:12)

When you first read verse twelve it seems not to fit the context. However, after further thought it really does. When faced with wrong treatment we turn to language to support our position. James has just warned against grumbling now he warns against saying more than one should.

Would you agree our language at these times does not pass the “cordial test”? James tells us to be careful not to place ourselves in a position of condemnation. Where do you suppose he got his idea on swearing?

Could it be from his half-brother Jesus who said,

“Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made, But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” (Matt.5:33-37)

It is noticeable Jesus takes swearing to a deeper level. He tells us when one goes beyond his own words he moves into a dangerous place.

Why is this?

It is related to how oaths were used in the time of Jesus. If one used the name of God in his oath it was considered a binding oath. However, if one did not use the name of God it was considered a non-binding oath.

One could add anything to his oath and it was not binding as long as he did not add the NAME OF GOD.

It would be like one making a statement and crossing his fingers behind his back.

In our culture crossing one’s fingers means I have no intention of keeping my word. We might say it is a cool way of being dishonest.

Now you see why Jesus said what He said. When I make a statement it should be enough. My word should stand on its own merit. A person of integrity does not need to add to his words. Jesus says a simple YES or NO will do.

If you add to your words you are in a bad place. Stay away from oaths and stay close to the Lord Jesus and you will be fine.

Thanks for Reading,

Brother Walt